By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 水曜日, 2月 24, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


W. David Marx, a Contributing Editor of The Business of Fashion critics about Abercrombie & Fitch Ginza staff as follows:

But the big question is, will Abercrombie be able to win over new fans in Japan and replicate the unbelievably successful Japanese market entries of other mass fashion brands?

So far, the signs do not look good.

For instance, most foreign retailers in Tokyo employ an exclusively Japanese staff, who behave according to the expectations of Japanese consumers, but Abercrombie & Fitch decided to make the brand experience so “American” that they have almost nobody working the shop floor who would be perceived by customers to be authentically Japanese.

Remarkably, the staff greets shoppers in English, rather than Japanese. Indeed, the best a Japanese consumer can hope for is a kikoku shijo – a returnee from overseas – who can at least speak the local language. While most Tokyo shoppers may like imported, international goods, they do not want to be forced to surface their rusty English during a commercial transaction.

The staff also fails to follow widely recognized principles of Japanese politeness. They are boisterous and many sing and dance along with the songs piped through the Ginza store, making the relatively cramped sales space feel even more claustrophobic for consumers.

To make matters worse, many of the male staff members have their chests exposed. Sex appeal may be a big part of the brand’s charm in the United States, but this particular masculine ideal of a “ripped chest” is completely out of sync with current Japanese fashion culture and the constant presence of half-naked men is off-putting to the Japanese customer — especially when crammed into tight spaces like elevators.

Successful brands in Japan use their shop floor staff as brand leaders and styling mannequins to show consumers how the clothes look on real Japanese people. At this, A&F also fails.


….Do you agree with him?

Posted in Fashion, Ginza • Tags: Top Of Page
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