The advent of online retail has forced brands to take a good, long look at the in-person shopping experiences they offer. One of the best ways to woo pavement-pounding customers is with in-store experiences and offerings that go way beyond the merchandise.
One need only look at the velvet rope and the long lines outside of the Abercrombie & Fitch store on Fifth avenue in Manhattan to see that this strategy can work very well. But are chiseled, shirtless men enough to bring in these crowds? I've always wondered. Is it the aura of exclusivity and luxury that these shirtless men convey?
Thankfully, an essay in the newest issue of The Believer
sheds some light on this kind of "Immersive Retail Experience," examining the Hollister
clothing brand phenomenon. From what I gather, the Hollister store has everything you could want out of a shopping experience: half naked dudes with enviable pecks, music that's almost too loud for comfort, and of course, that inimitable SoCal vibe. Wait, I can get all of that on the internet. Or can I?