In July, Hollister launched its frenetically hyped flagship store in Soho, a four-story extravaganza of Southern California surfer ethos, complete with bronzed, swimwear-clad sales assistants obsessively folding $70 torn jeans. Apparently, the brand has filled a void in New Yorkers’ up-until-now unbeachy fantasy lives: The Abercrombie & Fitch brand announced it will open a second Manhattan location to tap into the burgeoning market of tween-age New Yorkers.
The 15,500-square-foot, multilevel store at 668 Fifth Avenue, taking over space formerly occupied by Hickey Freeman, will introduce its signature blend of tiki bar mood lighting and shirtless greeters to Fifth Avenue’s famed retail stretch. Abercrombie & Fitch initially intended the space to be used for its children’s line, Abercrombie. However, in the struggle for the city’s hearts, minds and real estate, it seems the bleached and the shirtless have won out over preadolescent prepsterdom.
Hollister, which has been sued for allegedly discriminatory hiring practices, is already scouting for sales assistants with a flair for bikini tops and hoodies.
C. Bradley Mendelson of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal. The Fifth Avenue space is owned jointly by Crown Acquisitions and the Carlyle Group.