COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Gilly Hicks is standing on its own again.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s underwear, loungewear, and activewear brand is back to being its own division within the New Albany-based company, complete with a new standalone shop at Easton Town Center.
Global Brand President Kristin Scott said the latest evolution of the brand is meant to help “Gen Z customers find their happy place through a focus on gender inclusivity, wellness, and mindfulness.”
Key elements of the new store include a lack of the traditional divide between women’s and men’s clothes. It’s instead organized by themes: go, stay, and every day. The color scheme leans heavily on neutral black-and-whites as well.
The goal is a place where customers can shop comfortably together regardless of how they identify.
The fitting rooms also are engineered for comfort. There is adjustable lighting (including a ring light) so shoppers can tweak that illumination to their desired look. Yes, there is a mount for mobile devices if one wanted to take a picture or do a TikTok or whatever technical and social thing the kids might be doing at this moment.
A two-way locker gives customers the ability to request and receive different sizes or clothing items without leaving the fitting room. Shoppers put clothes in one end and employees remove them on the other or vice versa.
The store features new products, including the Future Stretch underwear line, which uses a new fabric engineered to be comfortable for a wide variety of body types. That material will be used in loungewear and activewear at some point as well.
As with other Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores, there’s an emphasis on omnichannel sales. Employees can check customers out on hand-held devices. Apparel can be ordered, shipped, picked up and returned to stores.
“This store is a testament to our test and learn culture; we are looking forward to seeing how it resonates with our customers, as it will help inform future global store decisions,” Scott said in a news release.
Gilly Hicks has been part of Abercrombie & Fitch since 2008, though it’s had a bit of a tumultuous life. It started in 2008 and grew to more than two dozen stores of its own, but those were closed by 2013.
The brand was revived in 2017 and has been building both sales and reputation since then from within the Hollister chain.
Today it is sold in 430 Hollister stores as well as online. It also has 40 carveouts within Hollister stores and another 20 side-by-side locations with Hollister. Easton is the sole standalone shop not connected to a Hollister.
The company also is in the process of refreshing those carveouts and side-by-side units to the new look and new product at Easton. The website and app were relaunched today as well.
The Easton store will hold a grand opening event Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. that will include music and giveaways including scoops from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the store’s neighbor.
Gilly Hicks sales were up 90% in the last quarter and the brand is seen as a good growth vehicle for the company beyond its two core brands.
For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.