Abercrombie & Fitch will be opening its second UK location at the intu Trafford Centre in August more than 10 years after it opened its first UK store in London. The new 5,554 sq ft site in Manchester will be one of eight new prototype stores to be rolled out by the US brand.
The prototype has been designed to encourage product trial while experiencing the new vision of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, which has been keen to portray a more inclusive image. According to the brand, the prototype stores, first launched in February of last year, have shown improved customer engagement and productivity on a smaller footprint.
New features of the store include innovative fitting rooms with amenities designed to enhance the customer’s mood, including separate controls for light and music, as well as a phone charging dock. Select fitting rooms also act as private suites to accommodate larger groups of friends and families. In addition, “cash wraps” will be placed throughout the space, enabling a quicker and more accessible checkout experience.
“Manchester is a young, vibrant and fashion-forward city, making intu Trafford Centre an ideal location for our second store and our first prototype in the UK,” said Stacia Andersen, Brand President of Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids.
“Our stores are an important gateway for us to engage with our customer, and their design is a key element of delivering a seamless, customer experience, across all our platforms. We’ve seen increased productivity with these new prototypes and we look forward to offering another engaging A&F experience to both new and existing customers in the Manchester area,” Andersen added.
Colin Flinn, regional managing director at intu, added: “Abercrombie & Fitch will be at the heart of intu Trafford Centre where it will benefit from the high number of young, affluent shoppers visiting the centre for our exceptional retail and leisure mix. intu Trafford Centre will mark its 20th anniversary later this year and this is the latest in a long line of international and home-grown retailers who have come here to establish a new base outside London during that time,” he said.
Abercrombie & Fitch will open as work gets underway on a £75m transformation of intu Trafford Centre’s Barton Square which will gain 110,000 sq ft of extra retail space, a new glass-domed roof and a fully redesigned interior. The new space will launch in 2019 with Primark already signed up as an anchor tenant.
Department store Selfridges has also committed to investing millions in its store at the centre to mark its 20th anniversary in September.
Abercrombie & Fitch, which was founded in the US in 1892, launched its first store in the UK over ten years ago in the heart of London’s Mayfair on Burlington Gardens.