Thursday, 29 October 2009

Hollister at Westfield Shopping Mall, London

My friend made me go into Hollister. The same friend who persuaded me to go into Abercrombie and Fitch. And stupidly, I agreed.

Walking into Westfield Shopping Mall, one of London’s latest investments, I followed my friend towards the store front of Hollister, a sea side shack themed store, with a long queue outside. WHAT THE FLIPS? A queue to go INTO a store? Here’s the best part. There’s a queue to get into the queue. *Facepalm*

So we queue. For twenty whole minutes. In these twenty minutes, the constant eyeing up of nearby commoners and the “models” aka sales staff and feeling completely out of place. I can’t say it was totally unenjoyable though, seeing the male “model” aka “bouncer” for the queue leave his post to chat up these blonde chavettes… it was hilarious, and again sum up how common this store has become, here in the UK. Here, the store has been defiled by people excessively wearing these and making them so common and generic!

Whilst it is American based, namely Californian, there is no need to constantly thrust this well known fact at us. The fake palm, surf boards, half naked mannequins… it was all too much. The store itself was dark and crowded, and quickly resembled a Californian A&F. Whilst A&F is for the upper east side, Hollister is very much for a similar market: rich, spoiled teens in California.

In such a dark and crowded place, how are we meant to look at the clothes? It is a struggle, that’s how. And once we find the perfect garment (not that I did), there was no pricing. Don’t get me wrong, there were price TAGS, but there was nothing but the Hollister logo on. Great. I’m sure all the staff are hired just to tell people prices… at that stage, I would’ve just dropped the garment and left. A customer should not need to constantly ask for prices!

The clothes themselves were pretty generic. They seem to think that putting their logo and brand name on any sort of rubbish would get them money. And that is how they get their money. People blindly buying whatever has a “brand” name… I could not picture myself wearing any of the clothes, except perhaps a few MINUS the Hollister logo…

The store as a whole just seems to want to deter customers from entering. Firstly, the double queue is completely unacceptable. Why would anyone want to queue to get into a store? Yes, I get that the store is too small, too overcrowded, and they must control people flow… GET A BIGGER STORE. That’s the solution, not making people wait to go in. AND AND the “model” aka queue manager, goes “thanks for waiting”. Unaccaptable. It should be “sorry, you had to wait.”

Once inside, with the dark atmosphere and loud music, you just didn’t feel like browsing. The clothing was so tightly packed, people could have a quickie in the corner and no one would know.

I’m glad I didn’t have to stay more than 15 minutes inside, or I would’ve gone crazy. I’m sure lots of people love the brand and the store and everything about it, but it’s so excessive and unnecessary, and lacks a unique style of clothing.

The only difference between Abercrombie and Hollister is the lack of naked male models in Hollister and the lack of beach d├ęcor in Abercrombie.

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