Similar to the Abercrombie & Fitch transition toward offering more personalized customer experiences, the stores will operate on a smaller footprint and incorporate elements specific to each market, such as paying homage to local hotspots. The retailer plans to keep the stores open for approximately one year.
Gilly Hicks will launch its pop-up locations in:
- Dolphin Mall in Miami;
- Macerich’s Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, Calif;
- Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas; and
- BrandBox, the new retail concept at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, Va.
BrandBox is designed to give heritage brands a platform for testing new markets or concepts, and to help digitally-native brands open and operate their first physical stores. With BrandBox, Gilly Hicks will have access to marketing and programming as well as a retail analytics dashboard that will display data such as in-store sales, foot traffic and customer engagement.
After all 28 of its stores closed in 2013, the Gilly Hicks brand was revived in 2017, with Abercrombie & Fitch citing customer demand. The company’s resurgence comes at a time when the lingerie industry is undergoing a significant overhaul with American Eagle’s Aerie division, and online newcomers like ThirdLove, Adore Me and Lively increasing in popularity with their emphasis on body positivity and comfort as Victoria’s Secret struggles with its brand image.
In addition to the pop-ups, Gilly Hicks intends to further its global expansion by opening side-by-side spaces and carveouts in several Hollister stores.
“These Gilly Hicks pop-ups introduce new, engaging experiences for our customers, and create greater brand awareness,” said Kristin Scott, President of Global Brands at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in a statement. “As part of our test-and-learn approach, we’re looking forward to seeing how customers respond to Gilly in these unique and innovative formats.”