Give me a minute to cool off. I just visited Gilly Hicks Sydney, now open at Mall of America (second floor, west side near Nordstrom). In case you’re not familiar with this brand new chain, there’s a squad of sorority girls in camisoles and lounge pants to greet shoppers with "Welcome to Gilly Hicks. We’re the cheeky cousin to Abercrombie & Fitch." Anything Abercrombie left to the imagination – and we all know that wasn’t much – is revealed at its new women’s lingerie shop, which is filled with $13.50 cotton panties – you’ve never seen so many boy shorts – and $29 bras. The store takes its design cues from Hollister – it’s a dimly lit tangle of boudoir-like suites decorated with sketches of mostly naked men. Sexy, for sure. So who is going to shop here? The bras don’t seem to come in DD cups and you’d be hard-pressed to find many women over 30 who would dare to wear those short shorts. Teens are clearly the target – and if their parents didn’t already loathe Abercrombie, they will now. (Don’t tell Mom about the naked video on the Gilly Hicks website or she’ll really blow a gasket.) But of course, this is Abercrombie marketing, and enraging parents with overtly sexual marketing to teens is the tried and true strategy. Whether you’re a mom, a teen or somewhere in between, let me know what you think of this new shop (we’re one of the first four cities in the country to get it) – I’ll be writing about marketing lingerie to teens in my St. Paul Pioneer Press Savvy Shopper column.
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