The Casting Dock

I must be getting old…

So a couple days ago I took the 10 year old and 12 year old girls that I “babysit” to the mall.  The 12 year old wanted to get some “perfume” (read: body spray) for after gym class so we tackled that first and then just browsed through Brookstone so that they could play with the gadgets and then through some “fashionable” pre-teen clothing stores.  What stores are pre-teens into these days, you ask? Ohhhh, let me tell ya…Aeropostale, Pink (the VS “loungewear collection” store), and…wait for it…my personal dual-nemesis Abercrombie & Fitch and it’s SoCal inspired counterpart Hollister.

I haaaaate A&F (Hollister is pretty bad too, but not nearrrrly as bad).  I hate everything about A&F.  OK, I do think soooome of their clothes are cute, but mostly I just condemn that store with a vitriol loathing and would NEVER purchase anything there. So when the 12 year old cheerily asked, Ohhh, can we go to Abercrombie?, I shuddered, mayyybe throwing up a little bit in my mouth before remembering, Oh, that’s right, I thought this store was sooooo cool at her age too and ultimately conceeding. 

I’m pretty sure that during our 12 minutes in this store, these were just some of the multitude of disgusted and shocked expressions that crossed my face.  I didn’t even attempt to hide them.

Here’s just a short list of all the things I hate about A&F:

1. They make their stores so hidden and secretive as if they’re some sort of elite clubs. It’s annoying. Seriously, you are in the middle of the mall–there’s nothing special about you.

2. They blaaaaaaast the music so loudly that you seriously cannot carry on a conversation with someone 2 feet from you.  I know this makes me sound so old and crotchety, but it really is true.

3. Their advertising is SOOOOO inappropriate.  I remember liking A&F as like a freshman and sophomore in high school until they came out with this new marketing campaign that was essentially really attractive, 90% naked white people in lifesize cardboard cut-outs.  First of all, that’s inappropriate, period, but especially when your target age range is 14-18 years old.  And second of all, it’s ridiculous to have naked people modeling for a clothing store…YOU SELL CLOTHING. It makes no sense.  I hate when companies market being cool or being attractive instead of actually marketing the product that they are selling. And I especially hate that this strategy is effective in our society.  Seriously, one of the advertisements in the store was a profile shot of a naked guy standing behind a topless girl pulling down her jeans. SO. INAPPROPRIATE.

4. Their clothes are ridiculously small, oftentimes overly revealing for their target demographic, and absurdly over-priced.  Again, people will pay a big ticket to be “cool” and “attractive” but the sticker price is nowhere near the actual value of the clothing. Plus, (and this one reallllllly gets me) half of their clothing blatantly advertises Abercrombie & Fitch.  Why in the world would I pay a ridiculous amount of money to advertise for someone else?  Forget about free advertising; we are talking about actually paying to advertise for someone else.

5. The stores REEK of cologne.  Honestly, between the music and the stench, the stores themselves are unbearable.  When we were there the 10 year old says, It really reeks in here.  I bet they pump that cologne through the air vents. Lo and behold, she was right. Less than a minute later we see a little air vent up near the ceiling spraying out cologne.  Evidently they are programmed to detect when the returning-to-breathable air needs to be re-infused with a fresh saturation of headache-inducing stench. UN-bearable.

To have all of these thoughts and total annoyances with this crappy excuse for a store is a sure sign of my age.  I recognize that. But honestly, I PRAY that this store is out of business by the time I have kids of that age.  And if by some unfortunate turn of events God’s grace doesn’t extend to drop-kicking A&F out of business, I praaaaaayyyy that my children will never be enticed by their obnoxious, elite little clubs.


1 Jer { 11.04.10 at 1:53 pm }

“Seriously, one of the advertisements in the store was a profile shot of a naked guy standing behind a topless girl pulling down her jeans. SO. INAPPROPRIATE.”

At least she was wearing jeans…

2 Bryan { 11.04.10 at 6:05 pm }

Many of the mall clothing stores that I remember from my youth seem not to exist anymore — Structure, Journeys & Chessmen come to mind. So you’re not that old…

One of the things that I have learned about people, and this explains basically why ANF is strictly for children/teens, is that clothes with the brand name loudly written across the item tend to be frowned upon by looks-conscious professional adults. In fact, there is a pretty well known theory that states the conspicuousness of the writing/crap on the clothes serves as a general indicator the social class of the person wearing. Basically clothes with loud and large branding, images, slogans etc are not favored. Upper-middle class folks wear pricey clothing with tiny brand markers (like Polo), and those of the upper class wear more pricey clothing that have no brand markers (like j mclaughlin) at all.

3 Rhonda { 11.05.10 at 2:24 pm }

I totally agree with you. I have always hated that store. What I don’t get is parents who see all of that and still allow their kids to partake of it. What is wrong with good parenting these days?? I guess that makes me not only old..but old fashion! I must admit my favorite part of this blog was the pictures. You always have a way of making me laugh!

4 noche { 11.05.10 at 9:29 pm }

I couldn’t have said it better. I may use it with my seniors as we just finished a chapter on marketing….with your permission, of course.

5 Lisa { 11.06.10 at 1:37 am }

Sure thing, noche. I’d be curious to hear the kids’ opinions as they are all within the target demographic age and most of them probably like their clothing…

6 Carol { 11.18.10 at 3:02 am }

Do you think you could get a spot on Fox new or something and make an announcement to the whole world?
They need to hear it.

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