Written by: Christine Nugent
So this past weekend I went to NEW YORK CITY with the other interns for a concept shopping trip and it was SO AMAZING. Our flight left Friday morning at 6:15 am and arrived in New York around 8:30. We drove straight to the Abercrombie & Fitch 5th Avenue Flagship store and were treated to the “behind the scenes tour”. We then went outside and were able to beat the line of over 100 people waiting to get into the store. Walking past the line I heard so many different languages, and it was really awesome to see how excited tourists from other countries are about the Abercrombie brands!
The flagship store is definitely not like your typical Abercrombie mall store. It is over 3 stories tall, has hand-painted murals, a denim bar with glass shelving and elevated product fitted for more fashion forward international customers. I was so amazed by how awesome the flagship store was that I got goosebumps while we were waiting inside before the store opened seeing all the preparation that goes into making this store run efficiently. The managers were doing their last minute rounds making sure all the product was positioned perfectly, the shirtless models were doing push-ups before the doors opened and girls would be running in to get their pictures taken with them, and other models were dancing to the store soundtrack getting pumped up for the opening. Once the doors opened the mad rush began and customers were running into the store to grab whatever product caught their eye. It was definitely an experience to sit back and watch.
Once we left Abercrombie we walked to the 5th Ave Hollister store which was really cool to see and then we did some concept shopping at a couple big name retailers in New York City. It was really interesting to see the newest trends showcased in different ways and to get ideas for how to translate those big fashion-forward ideas into the handwriting of the Abercrombie Brands.
The rest of the day seemed to go by in a blur. The other interns and I were split up into groups to go to specific retailers to scope out some up-and-coming trends in our specific areas. I found a couple really cool ideas in the graphics departments that I feel could be translated in Hollister’s handwriting and heritage.
After walking around for over 10 hours in 106 degree heat, our day was finally over. We all parted ways to stay with friends for the rest of the weekend and Anne, another intern from OSU, and I went and stayed with Anne’s roommate from freshmen year who is interning in NYC for the summer. The rest of the weekend we explored the city (in 13 hours on Saturday) and went to the following places:
Needless to say, our feet were killing us and we were exhausted when we left to come back to Columbus on Sunday afternoon.
That trip really showed me how sought after our brands really are and how much our global expansion is having an affect on our international customers. One final story I will share with you from the weekend that I believe sums up this point is the following:
Watching a real customer’s reaction to a company that I work for and am so passionate about myself is really awesome and shows me that Abercrombie & Fitch is truly focused not only on making great clothing, but providing a full-out experience for customers all over the world.