Founded in 1892, Abercrombie & Fitch officially opened its first flagship store in downtown Orchard, Singapore, on 15th December 2011. Abercrombie & Fitch is an American brand that specializes in casual wear and fashionable apparels, mostly targeting at young consumers.
Abercrombie & Fitch Hot
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The store that should become a club instead.
Abercrombie & Fitch has always seemed too cool for me. From the posh exterior of the shop which looks so exclusive to the mysterious and dimly lit insides, Abercrombie & Fitch seems like the place only the glamorous and rich can shop at.
The clothes are pretty average with high price tags. The quality is decent, but nothing much to rave about. I guess many are willing to pay for the large logo sewn onto the front of a tee, but I’m not so keen on that personally. The designs were alright, but they’re what you can find in an ordinary fast-fashion store.
With all the loud music, LED lights and attractive staff, Abercrombie & Fitch should convert into club instead, and maybe sell their overpriced clothes at the front door.
The hype about A&F in Singapore started with bared-bodied male models standing in front of the shop and people flocked to see this 'phenomenon' and take pictures with them, and you can bring those Polaroids home. I went in out of curiosity and firstly, the cologne just filled up the whole of your lungs, secondly, it is very dark, thirdly, the music is way too loud. I can't helped but to think that they are imitating the atmosphere of a club to get consumers to be irrational about buying in the store.
The clothes to me, however, are just ok, nothing too special. I guess you pay the high price for the logo and that isn't something that I would do. I was disappointed in a sense, I expected that there's something unique about its designs but I have seen none, except for an added logo on their sweaters and clothes.
It has a good marketing tactic of attracting the crowd, but not a choice of shopping destination for me.
Suffocating from the fumes
You could murder a person in A&F and no one will be the wiser. The store's overpowering smell of cologne can mask any sent of decomposition, and the music being blasted out is potentially loud enough to cover any futile screams of the hapless victim as he takes his dying gasps only to find that it is 90% of the air is Chanel No.5.
That aside, the marketing campaign for A&F was fairly successful, from the provocative, border-lining indecent advertisements, to a throng of half-naked attractive men standing outside the store front, it simply attracted customers like how moths are attracted to light - and then slowly killed them with epilepsy-inducing strobe lights and mind-numbingly loud rap music.
To be honest, A&F is marketed more towards the male audience, where most of its products are simple T-shirts with the store logo loudly emblazoned on the front. Prices are very steep though I can't be that sure because it was so dark inside, I had to squint to even see the price tag dangling right in front of my nose. I have a sneaking suspicion that the perfume they spray ever so generously throughout the entire store is to slowly make us brain dead from the fumes, so we can blindly purchase their overpriced t-shirts.
High prices are a total turn-off
Upon entering the shop, besides noticing how dark it is inside, you will get a wiff a strong scent of perfume and be blasted with loud music. Indeed, A&F is like no other when it comes to the ambience and the customer service--who doesn't know that A&F hire staff based on their looks? I did not enjoy the music because it was so loud and booming that I had to shout at my friends for them to hear me.
In the dim shop, the clothes are illuminated by spotlights which is unique. However, all of them are pricey and totally beyond budget.
Moose to Men
The label Abercombie and Fitch has evolved from the days where it used to be popular for its 'moose logo' designs. Back in the days where polo tees were in fashion, it was somewhat "very cool" to have a moose logo on the shirt because everyone would know where it was from. Today, it seems like the label has faded away from its childish likes of the moose logo to handling the marketing campaign to half-naked models with perfectly shaped bodies.
The hype of the whole opening in my opinion was fairly over-rated but obviously to the benefit of the store. With its successful marketing campaign, it attracted customers flowing in and out of the doors of the dull-looking corner store that in my opinion would not have been half as popular. The huge doors to the three storey store is usually filled with half-naked male models or skimpily dressed female models attracting random passers-by. As I first entered the store I was quite disgusted at the strong smelling perfume as it was too over-whelming, so much so that it masked out every other smell possible for awhile even after exiting the store.
On the shelves are neatly placed clothing although I found the layout of the store rather confusing , especially with its glass shelves that made it quite dangerous. The whole area was very dark with only spotlights that kind of heated up the stall hence, after walking around it got a little frustrating. For an artistic store, Abercombie & Fitch scores most definitely but as for a comfortable shopping environment the store is no where near that at all.
Basically even if there were actually clothing worth purchasing, it became very difficult to do anything with its bad lighting and overpowering perfume. It is though a whole new different shopping experience, that I hope would not repeat itself.
bad lighting and expensive clothes, overpowering smell
Unless you are certain of what you are going to purchase in the store, chances are that you will not be able to choose when you are inside. The lights are really dim and not suitable for shopping. It alters the color of the clothes! My friend bought a orange dress but it turned out to be red when it was seen under daylight. Or was it the other way round, can't remember. But the idea is there.
The store has different levels as well and coupled with the bad lights, I almost tripped when coming down the stairs. Maybe it's just me being clumsy. But I did not enjoy having the go down the stairs with a worrying heart thinking I might just fall anytime. The large amount of mirrors around the store certainly creates more optical illusions. Be careful of walking into one. You wouldn't be that sure where is a mirrored surface and where is the real place to walk into. Put your hand and feel first. Just to check if there are mirrors there. Wouldn't be cool should you walk and knock into the mirror.
The overpowering smell was too much for my sensitive nose. Overall, I did not enjoy my time there and needless to say, I left empty-handed.
Great customer service and unique sales strategies but a highly pricey place to shop.
A brand that prides itself on selling all-American apparel with a funky, club-like twist, the presence of the Abercrombie and Fitch flagship store at Orchard Road certainly attracted curious shoppers and tourists alike. Located next to Paragon, the all-black shop front with good-looking models guarding the door and the strong whiff of Abercrombie’s signature scent, ‘Fierce’, is definitely hard to miss.
Honestly, I was excited to know that A&F would be opening a store in Singapore, as this is a brand well known worldwide and I was curious to see how the A&F shopping experience would be like. Upon paying A&F a visit, it really is an eye-opener, especially for Asians who are not used to the presence of topless guys in stores. Abercrombie reminds one of a club, with its dim lighting and loud club music blasting from speakers all around the store. Although it might have been meant to be appealing to young adults, it definitely puts me off a little bit because it is extremely difficult to see in the dim light when you are browsing through their clothes, and my eyes hurt after a while.
Abercrombie’s sales associates, are highly outgoing and would greet all customers with their tagline and approach anyone that seem to require help. Though this might seem weird as Singaporeans are not used to it, I am actually rather pleased that the associates take the initiative to render help, unlike many a times when I have to warily approach disinterested sales personnel in most shops I enter for help.
However, though the 3-story shop is sectioned into women’s on the top floor and men’s on the first floor and basement, it is rather confusing to navigate, especially on the first visit. There are no signage indicating which floor is for which gender, and if one did not venture to the top floor, one would not have known that the women’s section exists. Also, Abercrombie does not group the clothes into displays by type, and hence searching for a particular kind of clothes (e.g. hoodies) is a horrendous task, as they can be placed in different rooms and even on different levels. Their clothes are of a high quality and can last long, but are also heavily overpriced and, unless you are a tourist or are willing to spend on fashion and for the brand, this would not be a shop I would recommend for a shopping spree.
Not Safe For (The Conservative)
Abercrombie & Fitch. Who wouldn’t have already known of this controversial store which had made waves in the local scene? A&F is located at the forefront of Knightsbridge with minimal lighting and an inconspicuous signage, right beside Topshop. Never mind that does not draw much attention to itself on the outside, it is after all, Abercrombie & Fitch. You could whiff the strong scent of cologne right outside Topshop or even distance away.
Taking a peep into it, you’ll immediately spot their iconic topless A&F boys, always gamed for a warm A&F welcome and a polaroid picture to be taken with you. Venturing further, the scent of cologne gets thicker and may even be pretty overwhelming to some. But what is more overwhelming is the setting of the shop. On one extreme to some, it is a posh upbeat club-like store with dim lighting, modern interior design, pounding music and forthcoming service staff greeting you.
But on the other end of the spectrum to some, it is a sleazy store with bad lighting obstructing you from perusing their products or even differentiating them. To me, it seems like they’re selling the same products in every section at a cursory glance. Coupled with their pretentious service staff ostensibly trying to pick you up with lines like “Hey! How’s it going???” it may get a little too uncomfortable to some, especially the conservative. Personally, I do not buy their brand of customer service. It just seems very queer to me – shopping and clubbing are, in my opinion, two spheres which should not be overlapped.
All in all, I was dying to get out of the store (in need of fresh air and sunlight, very much like a plant). Perhaps I would have enjoyed my second trip there more, knowing what’s in store for me (but I haven’t got the guts to step into it again). Perhaps, I, too, am still conservative. But one thing’s for sure, a visit to A&F is an acquired taste.
Fade Into Darkness
The long awaited Abercombie & Fitch opened in Singapore with quite a big commotion, first having the media criticise on the not-so-appropriate ad campaign of half naked guys and next having topless models standing in front of the store. The marketing campaign is indeed commendable as it had gotten quite the load of media attention on the store itself, making its brand a hit once it opened.
The large store right at the side of paragon is definitely a sight that cannot be missed, with its huge crowds coming in and out of the doors regularly. I too had to go check it out what the entire hype of it was about as an Abercombie & Fitch store opening in the USA was definitely not such a well-welcomed event. To my disgust, the entire store was filled with too much perfume that it makes it hard to actually try the to smell the perfumes that are on sale. The lighting of the place was very poor, so much so that the entire place was so called engulfed in darkness itself. Perhaps it was the theme or the whole setting of the place but personally not being able to have enough light to see the right colour on my clothing is a big minus, and for that I would actually think twice before purchasing an item as my item might turn out to look different in brighter light.
Neatly sectioned into different categories, the store had models filling the front entrance with drawing the attention of many excited girls. Upon entering, the product range was quite a disappointment as I had expected much more for its space. Much of the room was taken up by bulky shelving for decoration purposes of making the whole place look very attractive and products very enticing. However, for the avid shopper who is actually there to purchase products instead of window-shopping it can be quite a turn off as I found myself at times almost hitting the glass panels because the entire place had such an odd layout.
That aside, the store does still have a range of its classic sweat suits that are so very comfortable.
Wow look, a hot guy!
"Wow, look at that guys' abs!" - this is something that a girl (or perhaps even a guy) will say when walking pass Abercrombie & Fitch, the store famous for its' hot hunks and pretty babes. I have to say, this marketing strategy is definitely working wonders, as the store is usually rather packed, even on weekdays. With two topless guys standing outside the store welcoming visitors, many will definitely be attracted to take a look inside.
However, when one steps into the store, one might think that night has descended as the store is really dark. There is also a pounding music everywhere, reminding one of a club. This makes it extremely difficult to see how the clothes actually look like, which methinks defeats the whole purpose of attracting customers to the store. Also, the scent of the store can get overwhelming at times - one can even smell it before entering the store!
Having said that, the quality of their clothes is pretty good, but the price is on the higher side, which is to be expected as it is imported from USA. Perhaps getting a friend in the US to purchase A&F items for you, or getting A&F items online would be a more viable choice.