Abercrombie & Fitch’s store opening spree will include a series of travel-themed concept stores designed to appeal to young millennial and “zillennial” shoppers.
Unveiled Monday, the concept is currently on display at recently opened locations in Los Angeles and Milan. Abercrombie plans to open “multiple” getaway concept stores “around the globe” through the end of its fiscal year—January of next year—with “even more” planned for 2023.
Abercrombie framed the new aesthetic as “a stylish nod to a chic lobby, designed to prioritize omnichannel shopping.” The retail space includes “elevated” fixtures and furnishings, wood accent walls, a dedicated denim studio, fitting rooms with customizable lighting and a hotel lobby-inspired “check-in desk.”
“Abercrombie’s young millennial and zillennial [the cohort straddling the line between millennial and Gen Z] customers continue to utilize our stores for a variety of needs—whether it’s discovering new products and trends, picking up online orders, connecting with friends virtually or IRL, figuring out their best fit, or simply enjoying the brand experience,” Carey Krug, senior vice president and head of marketing for Abercrombie brands, said in a statement. “Everything from the flow and design elements to the functionality of the spaces was architected to reflect our customer’s ideal experience, whether they’re visiting for a transformative, curated shopping experience or utilizing the store’s omni-hub capabilities.”
The new concept design comes as Abercrombie & Fitch Co. prepares to open more stores than it closes for the first time since 2008. As of May, it expected to open approximately 60 new stores in fiscal 2022—a 20 percent increase from the 50 it predicted three months prior. “These openings will be weighted towards the back half,” chief financial officer Scott Lipesky said on a call with investors in May. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. expects to close around 30 stores this year, pending landlord negotiations—the company has roughly 250 leases up for renewal.
Over the past three fiscal years, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has removed 1.5 million gross square feet, or 23 percent of its base, through 228 closures, CEO Fran Horowitz said in March. The vast majority of closures were “oversize Abercrombies,” she noted.
“Simply put, there has been a fundamental shift in how we think about the purpose of the store,” Horowitz added. “We no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach. With tens of millions of customers in our database, we have quantitative and qualitative data to inform our approach to each market.”