Abercrombie & Fitch will launch a new retail concept this week – The Getaway – inspired by the feelings before the start of a long weekend.
Although the stores will continue to be called Abercrombie & Fitch, the design aims to replicate a chic hotel lobby and the mix of merchandise is curated to appeal to the diverse needs of a 25- to 35-year-old customer.
The first two stores will open outside of Milan at Il Centro shopping mall and Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles. They will be approximately 4,500 square feet and stock men’s and women’s clothing.
“We want every day to feel like the start of a long weekend, and we offer an assortment that meets those needs,” said Carey Krug, senior vice president and marketing director for the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer.
So the mix includes clothing and accessories suitable for working out, wearing to the office, on the way to a drink after 5pm or to a friend’s wedding. The range will “cover all activities in the customer’s life for their weekend getaway,” Krug said, and will include pieces from the company’s wedding-focused Best Dressed Guest range and Your Personal Best activewear collection.
“That’s the concept of Getaway and we bring it to life in a physical experience,” Krug said.
The stores will feature raised fixtures and furniture, wood-accented walls, and distinct areas dedicated to each of the categories.
“We translated the mindset of our customers into a realistic, immersive experience,” said Joanna Ewing, group vice president and head of creative at A&F. “Their love for our denim manifested itself in their own denim studio. The dressing rooms have been tweaked with customizable lighting and sleek design elements. Her affinity for travel is captured in the store’s hotel lobby-like atmosphere with check-in desk. The overall design of these new stores is the unique mindset of our customers, brought to life in a way that conveys an elevated ease that is exactly what Abercrombie stands for.”
The range caters to both Millennials and Zillennials, which Krug says is “a word we came up with” to describe a shopper who works and lives alone. “Someone in their mid-20s is our sweetheart,” she said.
The stores will be marketed through the company’s social channels, including TikTok, where it has a strong presence, Krug added.
A&F has more than 300 stores worldwide in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and Asia Pacific. The locations of the first two Getaway stores were chosen because the company could find the right real estate opportunities and they also represented cities where the brand has a “highly immersed digital experience,” Krug said.
She said if the concept is successful, the company will open “a list of others” across the country and around the world. Declined to provide a likely figure or timeline, she said the public company is in a quiet period ahead of the Aug. 25 release of its second-quarter earnings.
“We’ll see how the customer reacts, but we’re very optimistic,” she said. “Abercrombie’s young Millennial and Zillennial customers continue to use our stores for a multitude of needs – whether it’s discovering new products and trends, taking online orders, connecting with friends virtually or directly, finding out how they fit best, or just enjoy the brand experience. Everything from the flow and design elements to the functionality of the spaces has been designed to reflect the ideal experience for our customers, whether they are seeking a transformative, curated shopping experience or utilizing the store’s omni-hub capabilities. “
Over the past four years, A&F has worked to restructure its retail presence, open smaller neighborhood stores and improve its online presence. At the company’s Investor Day conference in June, management laid out its goals of achieving revenue of $4.1 billion to $4.3 billion and an operating margin of at least 8 percent by the end of 2025, compared to 3.7 $ billion in revenue and year-on-year operating margin down 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. In addition, the company is targeting annual sales of $5 billion and compound annual revenue growth of 3 to 5 percent by the end of fiscal 2025.