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HCO, or simply Hollister, is an American
lifestyle brand from parent brand
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. inspired
by the Southern California surfing lifestyle. HCO is aimed for customers
between the ages of 14 and 24.
Goods are available in-store and through the company's online store.
A study by US Bancorp Piper Jaffray reveals that the brand ranked
as the second most preferred teens clothing brand in 2008.
Opening and effect
its first store in July 2000
at the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The concept was formulated around a fictional background
story created by Mike Jeffries to provide more of
an atmosphere for the HCO shopper.
fictional story states Hollister was founded by
J.M. Hollister in 1922 as a pacific merchant shop
in SoCal. All of Abercrombie & Fitch Co.'s spin-off
brands have an accompanying fictional background
(including RUEHL No.925 and Gilly Hicks). HCO's
rapid success led Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to
notice that the HCO brand was eating into the revenue
of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, referred to
as a cannibalism effect. In order to properly distinguish
A&F from HCO, higher-grade materials and construction
were introduced strictly in the production of A&F
clothing and goods, thus raising the prices of the
From international expansion
Fitch Co. marked its expansion into Canada mid-January
2006: two Abercrombie & Fitch stores and two
Hollister Co. stores opened, one of each pair at
the Toronto Eaton Centre and the other at Sherway
Gardens, both shopping malls located in Toronto,
Ontario. The stores' openings were originally scheduled
for the end of 2005, however construction and planning
issues delayed this to early 2006. As of now, locations
include: Sherway Gardens, Toronto Eaton Centre,
the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta and
Upper Canada Mall, in Newmarket, Ontario. The 5th
Hollister Co. store opened at Fairview Mall in Toronto,
Ontario. Hollister has also opened a store at Pacific
Centre in Vancouver, BC as of January 29, 2009.
summer 2007, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. spent an
approximate amount of $10 million USD to install
video walls into Hollister Co. stores nationwide.
The walls play live-feed from Surf City Huntington
Beach, California to provide customers with a flavor
of the SoCal surf atmosphere HCO promotes.
October 2, 2007, 100 select Hollister California
stores began to promote Abercrombie & Fitch
Co.'s fifth brand Gilly Hicks: Sydney prior to the
latter's debut in January 2008. Advertising was
achieved through a variety of body care items including
body sprays, deodorant, soaps, lotions, and lip
balms called Sessions.
October 25, 2008, Hollister Co. opened its first
store outside of USA and Canada in Brent Cross,
London, UK. In December 2008 Hollister Co. opened
its second store in the UK in Westfield London and
a garfunkle freedom Bluewater, Kent, UK.
Branding and marketing
California pursues the technique of "walking
self-marketing", where in wearing an item of
clothing from HCO results in direct
is notably achieved through the large
the brand's name, initials, fictional date of establishment
and the flying seagull logo on the vast majority
of their merchandise. The HCO-labeled shopping bag
carried out of the store produces a similar effect.
As a result, the company has not relied on media
marketing to communicate its desired look and appeal.
The brand's marketing images are sepia toned and
modified in order to look somewhat faded; this is
reminiscent of the grayscale marketing images used
by the Abercrombie & Fitch brand. The sepia
toned images provide HCO's campaigns with a
vintage feel that
is adequate to their fictional date of establishment,
and the lifestyle promoted by the brand.
To maintain the SoCal
theme, stores and merchandise are categorized within the divisions
named "Dudes" (men) and "Bettys" (women). Merchandise
of which offers Hollister includes but is not limited to "applique"
and "heritage" T-shirts, Polos, Henleys, Knits, Shirts,
Fleece, Outerwear, regular or destroyed low-rise Jeans, Flip Flops,
Fragrances, Boxers and so on. Hollister is the only brand from Abercrombie &
Fitch to offer body care products such as deodorants, antiperspirants,
and body washes for both sexes. Some of the beauty products offered
for the girls are body washes, mists, lotions, and an assortment
of lip glosses, lip shines and lip balms. All of these are part
of the sessions line.
Goods are given names
from SoCal beaches, something which Gilly Hicks does similarly with
Australian beaches. The labels proclaim Hollister Co. as "pacific
merchants" established in 1922.
A&F Corporate keeps HCO price points affordable
to its targeted high-school consumers. Outerwear
at its highest is at US$160.00,
and jeans at their highest at $70. However, in recent
years, Hollister has been raising their prices to
rival that of their sister store, Abercrombie and
Fitch. Many of their items are almost equal in value
to that of Abercrombie, with items having a difference
of 20 dollars.
every year, Hollister releases a new
fragrance for both
men and women. In 2001, Hollister Co. was released.
It was a unisex fragrance. In 2004, Drift was released
for men, and August was released for women. Hollister
Co, Drift, and August are currently discontinued.
In 2005, Jake was released for men, and Malaia was
released for women. In 2006, HCO22 was released
for dudes, and Ryder was released for bettys. In
2007, SoCal cologne was released for dudes, and
SoCal perfume was released for bettys. SoCal cologne
is the current Hollister roomspray. In 2008, California
cologne was released for dudes, and California perfume
was released for bettys. The prices for the fragrances
- Jake & Malaia: 1 oz $30/ 1.7 oz $38
- HC022: 1.7 oz $29.50
- Ryder: 1.7 0z $19.50/ 2.5 oz $29.50
- SoCal: 1.7 oz $38/ 2.5 oz $50
- California: 1.7 oz $38/ 2.5 oz $50
also has a line of body care products. For Dudes,
Body Sprays ($12), Anti-Perspirant Deodorant ($9),and
Body Wash ($10) are available. Scents include Newport
Beach, Manhattan Beach, Huntington Beach, Balboa,
and Mission Beach. For Bettys, Body Mists ($14),
Body Wash ($10), and Body Lotion ($12), are available.
Scents include Hermosa Beach, Malibu Beach, Ventura,
Laguna Beach, and Crystal Cove. Two scents from
the line, Redondo (Dudes), and La Jolla (Bettys),
are being discontinued and clearanced for $4.90.The
lip shines are also being clearance for $4.90.
Hollister California recreates the SoCal surf atmosphere
through the interior and exterior design of their
stores. The stores resemble beach shacks, complete
with shuttered windows, light and dark brown walls
and teal boardwalks on the exterior. The stores'
interior is dimly lit with spotlights above the
merchandise, and divided into on one side the 'Dudes'
section for boys and on the other, the 'Bettys'
section for girls. HCO stores are currently scented
with the signature "SO CAL" fragrance.
They spray room spray scented like their popular "SO
CAL" cologne directly on the clothes and mannequins.
The store is scented every 60 minutes and is mandated
by corporate policy. The merchandise itself is displayed
on built-in shelves and dark wooden tables, cots,
and benches. In the center of the store is a lounge
area with chairs on which blankets are folded, and
a dozen surf or general popular culture magazines
are piled beside them along with potted palm trees.
Several surfboards with Hollister branding are placed
throughout the entire store as props. At the "cash
wrap," or register area, CDs and magazines
are made available for purchase.
the store design included a resident live Maine
Coon cat, named Fletcher, and a Greenwing Macaw
named Riley. Animal rights activists protested the
inappropriate use of live animals in the store decor,
given the dim lighting and loud music (see below).
The stores relinquished the animals in November
of 2009 all new stores and select stores will grow
through a brand upgrade. Including a new store front
hall with a chandelier and table, and wallpaper
throughout the store.
California stores are known to play alternative
rock and pop music. The company policy is to play
the music at the 80-85 decibel level.
One investigation measured the level of sound at
OSHA requires employers to provide ear protection
to employees exposed to decibel levels 90 or over.
A store manager in a particular Hollister store
stated that there were complaints from customers,
but that the volume was mandated by corporate policy.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. opened a total of 67
domestic Hollister California stores by the end
of 2008. Upcoming store locations include:
Anaheim GardenWalk, Bangor Mall, Bridgewater Commons,
Brunswick Square Mall,
Shops at Wiregrass, Cary Towne Center, Fashion Valley
Mall, La Plaza Mall, Mall of New Hampshire, Newport
Pearland Town Center, Firewheel Towne Center, Seminole
Towne Center, Bonita Lakes Mall, Shoppingtown Mall,
and Weberstown Mall.
expansion in Canada has continued with the opening
of a fourth store on July 3, 2008 at Upper Canada
Mall in Newmarket, Ontario.
A fifth Hollister store is now open at Fairview
Mall in Toronto during the month of November.
The first store in British Columbia opened at Pacific
Centre mall in downtown Vancouver in 2009. Another
location is planed for Masonville Place in London
of May 25, 2009, there are 4 stores in the
Listed below are the locations for new stores with
planned opening dates (when available).
|Brent Cross, London
||October 25, 2008
||December 11, 2008
||January 29, 2009
|West Quay, Southampton
||May 14, 2009
||July 30, 2009
|Trafford Centre, Manchester
|Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes
|Cabot Circus, Bristo
|Victoria Square, Belfast
is understood that the retailer is in talks to take
another four to five stores but locations under
discussion have not been revealed.
Fitch Co. is anticipating the opening of the first
ever Hollister Co.flagship store in
New York City, New York
due to open doors July 16, 2009.
The multi-leveled flagship will be located in the
SoHo district on
600 Broadway at the southeast corner of Houston
and Broadway. Thomas D. Lennox (Vice President of
Corporate Communications, A&F Co.) stated that
the company believes the flagship will be a "memorable"
and "unique" experience to customers,
as well as an important step for the brand.
The opening is being highly advertised through
an extensive marketing campaign launched May
2009. The flagship is advertised as "The Epic
of the total capital expenditures for fiscal 2008
of A&F Co. (up to 445 million USD), approximately
300 million USD will be spent on new store construction
and remodeling, including the HCO flagship.
The company anticipates opportunities for opening
HCO flagships "on an international basis"
in the near future.
Morris vs. Abercrombie &
2007, the lawsuit Morris vs. Abercrombie &
Fitch Co. was settled. Abercrombie & Fitch
Co. admitted that they should have not asked their
California customers for personal identification
information during credit card refund transactions.
Customers who were asked this information during
June 9, 2005 through May 31, 2007 may be entitled
to receive gift cards.
Since the settlement, A&F Co. brands' stores
have stopped asking for this information for returns
on purchases for which a credit card had been used.