The wait is over: Another quintessential mid-tier retailer for teenagers and young adults has finally opened in downtown Vancouver. Abercrombie & Fitch had a soft opening last Saturday at Pacific Centre’s new expansion wing under the Nordstrom building.
The men’s and women’s clothing and accessories retailer announced earlier this spring that its umbrella of brands will be toning down the chain’s renowned sexualized marketing strategy, instead focusing on products rather than selling sculpted flesh. Customers will find that images of half-naked male models are no longer found in the stores, including the usage of male models on the graphics of in-store materials and as live props at storefronts – commonly for store openings in the past.
The Pacific Centre store is the brand’s fifth Canadian location after its other locations in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. More locations are expected for the Metro Vancouver market.
Abercrombie & Fitch also has two other separate brands – Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co., which already has a presence at Pacific Centre.
An Abercrombie & Fitch store in downtown Vancouver has been speculated and rumoured for nearly a decade, but it is not the first location in Vancouver. The Ohio-based brand’s Canadian flagship was located at Oakridge Centre until the mid-1990s.
Another store that opened at Pacific Centre over the weekend was Jack & Jones, making it the Danish menswear brand’s fourth location in Metro Vancouver. With the latest openings, the number of new store additions at the shopping centre since summer has increased to 13.
According to industry analysts, there is high interest from international retailers with establishing a presence in the downtown Vancouver market, but suitable retail space is hard to come by.