Friday, March 20, 2009

Target Audience?

I went to the mall today (work gives me headaches) and as I went in to each store and touched everything on the racks (I have to - no idea why, but I must touch everything) I remembered why my credit cards are currently in a debt consolidation program. All of the fun new spring clothes are out, and while it's really still 40 degrees out, shopping for the new season always makes me happy... not as happy as shopping in college made me (when I had unlimited credit cards and no self-control), but happy enough.

Anyway, I was on my way to LOFT when I passed Abercrombie & Fitch. When you walk by that place, the unmistakable smell of sex hits you like a ton of bricks. I assume it's their men's cologne, aptly named Fierce. Behold, the Fierce cologne bottle:

If that bottle doesn't say SEX then I don't know what does. I assume they spray down everything in the store with this. If not, then they must have some sort of mist-machine near the front door that mists this on a continuous basis. Either way, the unmistakeable smell of MAN is just ooozing from A&F. So I stop and look in. I am greeted by this:

A huge wall mural of a hairless man with his hand precariously placed near his junk. Seriously, you can almost see where the junk actually connects to the body (just below the thumb, for those wondering). As I stood there, mesmerized by the deep V cuts in the picture (please don't even get me started on the live models they sometimes have milling around) and enchanted by the $70 smell of man sex, I wondered - Who is A&F's target audience?

The average price of an article of A&F clothing $55, give or take. Even the littlest cami's are $40. This shit is expensive. It also doesn't cover a lot of skin. Here's where the problem is - it's costly enough that teenagers can't (read: shouldn't be able to) afford it, but it's skimpy enough that real adults probably don't wear it. Then there's the whole sex thing. I'm assuming (most likely incorrectly) that not all 16-19 year olds are having tons of sex -so what would be the need for the huge naked man plastered on the wall? Need I even remind you of the old A&F catalogues that had to be sold wrapped in plastic? The plastic wasn't to keep all the coupons from falling out, either.

So who exactly is A&F targeting? Truth be told, I used to shop there when I was in college, but I feel like there was a lot less nakedness at A&F 6 years ago. I also feel like there were a lot less 13 year olds shopping there 6 years ago, too. How do you walk in there with your 13 year old CHILD and explain why there's a very attractive naked man walking around the store? Oh, that's right, you don't. You just drop off your child (probably with half a dozen others) and let them wander the mall alone. Next thing you know, your 14 year old is doing this:

And then you wonder why she looks like this :

Ew, I sound like a grown-up.

(All pictures from HERE, except the pregnant girl. She's from HERE)


Amy said...

Yep! I so totally agree. Awesome post :)

Anonymous said...

That was by far the best...tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard..soooooo, true!! "Celia" has nothing on you...
Your "Southern Aunt"

Kerri said...

Yes, thta guy is hot, but I think a ton of high schoolers shop there and maybe that is one of the reasons they all seem to be having sex. And tons of teens are having sex. I'm seriously scared to have teens and my daughter is 11, so I'm getting very close! Thanks for the warning. I'll never let her into that store! Not that we could afford it anyway!

Elizabeth said...

We had an undergrad in our lab who worked there part-time and she freely admitted to us that they DO spray down the clothing (and themselves) with the newest fragrances at the start of the day!

Kate said...

Liz- Iknew it. I could smell it a mile away!!!!
Kerri - Whare are high schoolers doing having sex? I mean, its true, but why???
My Southern Aunt - Thanks :-)

Single Stone Studios said...

Just found your blog today. Not even sure how as I've been blog hopping all morning. I thought I was the lone person in the world with and A&F aversion. I do not shop there nor do I let me children (I have a 13 yr old daughter). I am very up front as to why. I don't like this store or their message. Really, a little modesty please!