I was quoted recently in The Columbus Dispatch about Abercrombie & Fitch's new store prototype.
The redesign is definitely an improvement over the old stores, which had become "very cavern-like and almost stifling," said Chuck Palmer, principal strategist at retail consultancy ConsumerX.
"I like the openness of the store front. It's much more inviting. The dual mannequins is very good. Being able to control the music and the lighting (in a fitting room) is kind of interesting, too. But how long are you going to be back there?
"It seems they're not trying to walk away from their customer base, but trying to refresh it."
Ultimately, it won't be so much the decor as the service that will determine whether the new stores succeed, Palmer said. "Having a good experience in the store is predicated on human engagement."
See the original article published in The Columbus Dispatch here.