It’s really frustrating walking into a Hollister store. What’s the point of shopping if you can’t see the merchandise?The Abercrombie & Fitch subsidiary has created a “club-like” atmosphere in its stores for a decade now, and inspired Facebook groups like, “Hi, Welcome To Hollister, Would You Like A Flashlight?” and “Hollister Is So Dark Inside, So You Can’t See The Outrageous Prices!”
So far, enough customers have withstood the insanely low lighting and 85-decibel music to make the company profitable. But at one of Hollister’s newest stores in Birmingham, UK, people don’t like the concept at all, reports the Telegraph. One customer told the paper:
“It’s dangerous in there. People keep bumping into each other. It makes it so confusing: we went to buy something and then when we got to the till it was a completely different price to what we thought.”
Another woman lost her daughter because it was so dark, and one said she felt like she had vertigo. It’s unlikely that these parents will want to return to the store ever again. As the Telegraph points out, the teenagers who may enjoy the clubby ambiance of the store usually aren’t the ones paying for new jeans.
Though the company is doing well — A&F posted $32 million in net income last quarter, and has opened several stores across the U.S. and Canada since 2008 — if it wants to sustain long-term growth, it should consider the demographic that’s investing real money into the brand: parents.
Besides, we can’t imagine Hollister would lose too many 14-year-old customers if the stores decided to turn the lights up, even just a little bit.
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