(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Four new Gilly Hicks by Hollister pop-up shops have just been opened by Abercrombie & Fitch, as the company expands the gradual relaunch of its intimates brand. The stores join two other existing stand alone locations.
Abercrombie had announced at the end of 2013 it would soon be closing all its Gilly Hicks shops, which once numbered 28 worldwide, but had said in an earnings report in early 2014 that the brand would “continue to be sold via Hollister Co. stores and through the Gilly Hicks website.” But later that year, an executive, speaking at the conference call to discuss Q4 2014 results, admitted, “we decided during the quarter that we would wind down that business in 2015.”
Then on January 27 of 2017 the company reversed itself and announced it had “relaunched” the brand “in all Hollister stores across the United States and online at HollisterCo.com.”
The most recent pop-ups include one at BrandBox, “the new flexible retail concept at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, VA,” as well as “at Dolphin Mall (Miami, FL), Macerich’s Los Cerritos Center (Cerritos, CA) and Baybrook Mall (Friendswood, TX). These pop-ups join existing Gilly Hicks standalone locations at Ala Moana Center (Honolulu, HI) and Roosevelt Field (Garden City, NY).”
Abercrombie continued, “In addition to pop-up locations, throughout the year, Gilly Hicks plans to open side-by-side spaces and carve outs in several Hollister stores to further its global expansion.”
Kristin Scott, president, global brands at Abercrombie explained, “These Gilly Hicks pop-ups introduce new, engaging experiences for our customers, and create greater brand awareness. As part of our test-and-learn approach, we’re looking forward to seeing how customers respond to Gilly in these unique and innovative formats. “Macerich and its BrandBox concept align with how we think about the evolving retail landscape and changing customer needs, so as we look to grow our Gilly Hicks brand, this partnership was a natural fit.” Reportedly the pop-ups will each remain open at least a year.
Abercrombie described the pop-ups as “inspired by the brand’s updated format, featuring endless summer vibes similar to the overarching Hollister brand but with subtle color shifts and modern touches. The spaces will infuse aspects specific to each market – such as paying homage to local hot spots – and will operate on a smaller footprint, similar to Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s overall shift to more intimate customer experiences.”
The new emphasis on Gilly Hicks comes as Abercrombie has experienced strong growth in the sector. During a conference call with investors at the end of May, company CEO Fran Horowitz announced “record first quarter sales in pants and outerwear, as well as two of our must grow categories, swim and Gilly Hicks.” — NM
The complete conference call can be found here: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4267087-abercrombie-and-fitch-co-anf-ceo-fran-horowitz-q1-2019-results-earnings-call-transcript.
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