Dear Abercrombie and Fitch

Saturday, December 3, 2011
My 14 year old son likes your clothes.  And I have to admit that I agree.  They are nice and hip. He looks really good in them. But I can barely stand to shop in your store.  It gives me a migraine!  The music is SO loud that I cannot even hear myself think.  Yesterday, I needed to ask your salesperson a question about sizes and I had to SHOUT at her.  Even then, she could not really hear my question. I feel sorry for your employees because I have no doubt they will suffer permanent hearing loss as a result of all that ridiculously loud music.

Let's talk about the lighting.  It was so dark that I could not see the price tags.  Maybe that is why you have it so dark in there but I, for one like to actually SEE what I am buying.   One thing that made me grateful for the poor lighting was the very provocative images on the wall.  I would have loathed my teenage son to see them but luckily he was not with me and it was so dark you can barely see anything anyway. And finally, the smell...do you pump cologne into the store?  The smell was so overwhelming that I wanted to gag. And unfortunately, I smelled like your store all day after shopping there. YUCK!

So, after I finally picked out a few Christmas gifts for my son, I had to wait in line for about 25 minutes (on a weekday morning?) because only one person was working the register while 27 young employees roamed around (looking cute and smelling like cologne).  The smells and sounds were making me sicker and sicker by the minute and when I finally got to the register, I had a true headache.  I was in such a foul mood that I almost walked out without buying anything. If I did not want a few Christmas gifts for my son, I would have left.  In fact, the people behind me did just that.

So, keep in mind that although the people that wear your clothes might like the dark, loud, smelly atmosphere...We parents DO NOT!  And guess what...we are the ones who actually BUY the stuff.  We are your market too since we actually PAY for the merchandise!  I would buy much more in your store if  I could stand being in there for more than a few minutes.  I literally hold my breath, cover my ears and run right to the section I need hoping to escape as quickly as possible.  I am not sure that is what y'all were going for?   

I have a GREAT idea.....why don't you host an "oldies" day or morning where we parents could shop with the lights on, no scent and no music.  I would LOVE that.  And I am not even old.  I am kinda hip for a Mom of a teenage son.  But seriously, I will NOT come in your store again for a very long time (if ever) based on my experience yesterday. Let me know what you think of my idea.  I think it is brilliant!

P.S.  I am so afraid my son might need to exchange things and I will have to go back in the store after Christmas.  I already told my husband that I cannot do it and he will have to.  Maybe you could offer an oldies exchange day too.

Another P.S. To my blog readers---thank you so much for all the kind anniversary wishes.  They were lovely.

37 comments:

  1. Do you remember the video I posted a few years back of Emmie in that store????? She loved it and the music was so loud in there that I could not even think straight....I so feel your pain and I am here to tell you that he will move on from this phase in a few years! But until then.....bring ear plugs along and a flashlight! lol

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  2. I agree 100%!!! My question is, why do they want half naked people to advertise clothing???

    I too had a HUGE headache walking out of there from the smell. Yikes!

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  3. Very well said and I couldn't agree more!!!! I loathe going into that store for all the reasons you said.

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  4. oh, I agree! And, why or why, does it smell?

    lea
    xo

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  5. Kim, I am 21 and even I do not like that store! They don't have any in my country (Ireland) but I was on holiday in FL recently and came across one in a mall.. Honestly I couldn't wait to leave! I could not get over how dark it was in there, I could barely see the clothes. I didn't really mind the smell but the music was way too loud. Totally off-putting.
    I didn't really notice the images of half-naked teenagers either (too dark I guess?? Ha!) but I have heard about them and think it's totally unnecessary.. I always wonder what they're trying to achieve with it.

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  6. I definitely agree with you. People often joke that you need a flashlight to be able to see anything inside that store.

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  7. I shop online as much as I can for Abercrombie and Hollister. The boys look great but I cannot stand the half naked models who stand at the door. When I bring a bag home and hide it my boys immediate know I purchased clothing due to the strong scent of Abercrombie. I saw a tweet somewhere that said pack earplugs, a flashlight and a gas mask to shop at Abercrombie.

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  8. Truth be told...
    I worked there over Christmas in college...
    I know what you are saying but at the time it didn't bother me at all and I used to love the smell.
    A few years ago I went in to the one in San Fran...
    The same thing you experienced happened to me!
    I blamed it on age...LOL.
    I have to say, I love the way their jeans fit but I still take umbrage with the sizes...the whole 00 thing still wierds me out...
    I get it...
    But in a couple of years, Will can drive there himself... :)

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  9. Haha, I sooooooooo agree. It has been years since I have had to shop there since my teenagers are grown now but I already dread doing it again when the littles get older. I went into the dressing room with Julianne when she was in middle school and there was a pic of a half dressed boy in there and I told her she would have to buy it with her own money if she wanted it that bad, just could not do it that day! Ha ha she did and I'm sure I went back and bought her more when I had to. It really is such a shame!!

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  10. I am SO with you!!!! I hate that store too and I have "3" sons 18 and older......who LOVE it!

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Now, let's all hope the "powers that be" get the message.)

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  12. I refuse to shop there and refuse to give them any of my money because of the reasons you stated. I don't know how my teenage son looks in their clothes because I could never get one foot in the door. It is seriously off-putting. Yuck!

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  13. Ha! I went into the store to get m cousins something and we witnessed them spraying cologne all over the manikins. I hate any smells and had to leave. The people working may have thought I was rude because I put my scarf over my face as I left.

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  14. I totally agree...and Hollister is a close second, in my opinion! I shopped there last Christmas, but bypassed it for online shopping this year. I cannot stand the loudness, and my asthma cannot take the scents. Of course, I can't do Bath & Bodyworks either. Thank goodness for online shopping!!!!

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  15. I am with you sister! As a matter of fact you described the atmosphere so well that I know have a headache !

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  16. You smacked the nail right on the head, and wrote about what we ALL seem to feel! My son adores A&F, too, and I have to admit... their shirts and jeans sure wash well and maintain their shape and color longer than most other brands do. Plus... they're such trendy clothing items! BUT... last month when I dashed into the store, I came out knowing that I was officially OLD! My friend and I laughed, because we were actually OFFENDED by the half-naked, 6-foot-tall poster by the cash register, and we were saying, "When did loud music start to bother us?" Old age. So... I shopped at abercrombiekids.com online this Christmas season. My husband says, "Boycott them! Don't buy from them, when you don't approve of how they advertise or the atmosphere they create in their store!" And I was tempted, but then... Their clothes are just so blasted cool looking on 11 year old boys.

    So I guess you and I are officially paddling the Old Age Boat together.

    Have a great weekend.

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  17. Bravo...I hope you sent the letter; if not, you should. Send it certified mail, return receipt to the President/CEO...let your voice be heard, TJMaxx's CEO heard mine once.

    Michael Jeffries, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer
    Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
    301 Fitch Path
    New Albany, OH 43054
    Phone: 16142836500
    Fax: 16145776710

    http://clearstation.etrade.com/cgi-bin/fundamentals?Event=profile&Symbol=ANF&Refer=http://clearstation.etrade.com/cgi-bin/symbol_search%3fcmd%3dsearch%26string%3dEnter%20Symbol

    Rock on! :)

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  18. So true!!! I quit shopping there because the music and smell gave me headaches. I don't know how anyone can actually stand to work there...I hope they listen to you and shape up. I am so in for an oldies day!!

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  19. Oh I agree with you 100% Hollister is right there in my opinion as well...like the clothing but don't like going into their stores!

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  20. I think if I remember correctly you can take the bag that the clothing comes in you can cut out and make a half naked life size cut out of a young man FOR your teen daughter to hang on her wall. A while back lots of folks were boycotting them for all of their pornographic-like catalog images etc.
    I agree...send your letter to the big guys, if enough momma's will tell them their thoughts perhaps they will get the message...blessings on your Christmas season.

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  21. I got lucky when my son/daughter were younger. A&F jeans didn't fit them as well as other brands so they had no desire to shop there so much. My daughter liked "Seven" jeans and of course they were more expensive! At least I didn't have to endure the A&F stores. Hope you do send your letter to them....

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  22. Hollister is the same...drives me batty.

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  23. I had a friend who worked at A & F...she said that employees are told to spray the clothes with perfume every half hour. crazy, right? In my opinion, Hollister & Co. is an even worse shopping environment (somehow)! Avoid it, if possible :) love your blog and read all the time, but don't comment often! happy holidays!!

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  24. I had a friend who worked at A & F who said that employees must spray the clothes with perfume/cologne every half hour...crazy! Hollister manages to make an even worse shopping environment, in my opinion. Avoid it, if possible! I love your blog and read it all the time...just not very good at commenting (like, i can't figure out how to make my comment linked to my blog..oops!) but I hope you and your beautiful family have a Merry Christmas!

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  25. awhhh ~ THANK YOU, Kim! And for the record, my very hip and beautiful 16 year old daughter happens to agree with every word you wrote! We BOTH do. I think you need to send this post and all the comments {for REAL!} to the company and let them know how we really feel about their store, the atmosphere and their ads. GOOD GRIEF! ~ Enough withe the dark, smelly loud stores and the half-naked models already!! I'm buying clothes, not porn.

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  26. Dear Kim,

    I always buy at Hollister here in Spain. My kids love Hollister's colthes but they do not like the music and the lack of light. Sometimes we go to the shop but most of the times what we do is buying online.
    Why don't you do the same?
    Love,
    Belen

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  27. Hilarious Post!! I am with Steffie!!! Earplugs and a flashlight are a GREAT idea!!!! I can't stand that store, or their gift cards and shopping bags!!! But, like Will, Ainsley loves their clothes..

    I hope you and Dave had a wonderful anniversary! You definitely are two amazing role models!!!!

    Love,
    Diana

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  28. I was just in Hollister (one of A&F stores) yesterday and it is the same! Unfortunately, my daughter is transitioning into the tween clothes and that is the store she LOVES. I couldn't agree with you more - the smell, the music, how dark it is in there, unbelievable! Send your note to the CEO - it is perfect!

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  29. I totally agree with this post! I'm 29 and i detest even passing BY that store. the scent just makes me gag. So I don't think it has anything to do with age!

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  30. I love this post. Thank you!!

    I was in the store recently to xmas shop in Toronto. I could not stand it and also had my 1 year old with me. I was so worried about his hearing that I just hurried to the cashier and bought a gift certificate and ran out. That way I will not have to go back for returns and my teen can shop with her friends.

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  31. Hi,

    I came via The Enchanted Home blog. You hit the nail right on the head with A & F!!!! I refuse to shop there. I get claustrophobic, deaf and nauseous. Not a shopping experience you want.

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  32. Interesting! I wrote a letter to A&F about their vulgar tees that they were selling for girls. They practically were porn tees and I was so appauld by the nerve of the company.. Also once I purchaced over $300 worth of clothing and decided to return most of it. I wrote a check and they said I would only get a store credit! I was beside myself and had to speak to a person somehwere only by email to get an answer. It took over 2 months to get my money back by check and guess what never went back. They need to revamp their business plan and learn to be professional. So I hear ya! Tina sent me here!

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  33. As you know I posted this on the comments section of my blog yesterday, forwarded it to my mom, we got such a laugh together. Been there and done that and THANK GOODNESS my son no longer likes their clothes..woo hoo, the world is good again!
    I soo related to everything you said and always said I cannot be the only person in the world thinking this..THIS IS INSANE!!!! They are charging ME to pay for their clothes while I lose MY hearing, MY sanity and all control over my kids!! Its crazy.... Please tell me you sent it:)

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  34. I totally agree with this post. I have an 11 year old sister who also loves A&F (just like I did) and we were in there the other day. And yes, It smells, the music is SO LOUD I can't even think. And there are pictures all other the walls of half naked models. Inappropriate. And I hear people say this all the time. And yes, they are always so busy.

    xoxo.

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Thank you for your kindness.