Abercrombie & Fitch Launches a Campus Learning Lab

Abercrombie & Fitch Launches a Campus Learning Lab

Abercrombie & Fitch Launches a Campus Learning Lab 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Abercrombie & Fitch has gone back to school with the launch of its new retail concept on campus. Positioned as a learning lab, the purpose is to provide further insight into in-store activity, integrate an omnichannel experience, and amplify the on-campus presence with experiential marketing activity.

Abercrombie & Fitch Exterior
Abercrombie & Fitch Entry

Nestled on the OSU campus near a college bookstore, places to grab some grub and enjoy some entertainment; Abercrombie may just have found its home in the hearts of college consumers here. At 3,350 square feet, the boutique style store is half the size of the retailer’s traditional footprint. In this case, we say less really is more.

Abercrombie & Fitch Wall Display
Abercrombie & Fitch Interior

The intimate yet open space feels bright and airy with white walls and exposed ceilings. Greenery gives a lively attitude while music humming in the background emits a youthful energy. Polished metal canoes give a subtle cue to the modernized aesthetic from the brand’s traditional rustic wood. Tiered platforms create center focals for the curated product, with a toned down selection of the historically boldly branded A&F gear along the perimeter walls. Sans the sporting logos but still spirited, scarlet and grey OSU gear makes its place center store.

Digital Screens
Abercrombie & Fitch Display

Adding movement to the space, floor to ceiling digital screens blend A&F brand imagery and authentic Columbus highlights. Reportedly the brand has even put their campus ambassadors to work showcasing some of their shots around town like The Shoe and other notable Cbus spots. The plan is to integrate the brand’s social feed to showcase the campus life of A&F students.

Abercrombie & Fitch Interior
Abercrombie & Fitch Pick Up Lockers

While the edited assortment might present a challenge for shoppers to complete their look, it’s no problem here. Touchscreens are available to browse and buy additional items online not featured in the store. Headed to class afterward or hanging out with friends, just simply ship it home. Alphabetized metal lockers with a rolling ticker serve as a home base for online pickups, making it a convenient stop in between classes or on the weekends. Staff are also armed with handheld tablets, so transactions can essentially take place anywhere within the store.

Abercrombie & Fitch Store

The tech-enhanced experience extends into the dressing rooms with charging stations accessible for your phone. Adjustable lighting options factor the everyday Millennial life with settings like fireside, radiant sun, and night owl. And putting you in the mood for whatever occasion, shoppers can adjust the music volume to their liking as well.

Abercrombie & Fitch Fitting Room Technology
Abercrombie & Fitch Fitting Room

Further connecting with the desired demographic, they’re also sponsoring several events like the upcoming “Made in America” music festival. In addition to an exclusive unisex clothing line they’ve launched as a part of the sponsorship, pre-show events are taking place around town for A&F Club loyalty members.

Testing the waters out on the West Coast, Abercrombie also launched a campus store concept on the University of Southern California earlier this summer. The test serves not only as a move to a more modernized store but also a shift to a smaller footprint globally—one that increases store productivity, as well as integrates how consumers intuitively shop—online, in-store, anywhere.

To see more of Abercrombie’s evolving in-store experience check out our previous post documenting the brand’s recent Polaris prototype design.


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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