Half a year after the original Abercrombie & Fitch opening in Munich, the store's distinctive scent has brought neighbors to their boiling point. The scent of the brand's signature fragrance, "Fierce", is so penetrant that it can be smelled from close to 100 meters away from the store. Since the opening, neighbors have voiced their aggravation at the constant odor coming from the store and have finally brought change to the district.
No matter where in the world Abercrombie & Fitch opens its doors, the marketing concept stays true to the brand; topless male models, loud music, and of course the signature Abercrombie scent that attract limitless amounts of customers. Scent is such a strong marketing tool as it is a key factor in human attraction to things, whether for a mate, food, or merchandise.
A&F has a distinctive way of ensuring that customers remember the smell of the brand wherever they go. The store blows the signature perfume through the store via its ventilation system. The Munich store took this concept further by installing custom scent machines in the entrance of the Sendlingerstrasse store to spray scent clouds out onto the street to draw in customers. The system works so well that not only the store and the sidewalk out front smell, but also most of the Hacken quarter of Munich.
The persistent stench of Abercrombie angered residents. A few months ago, a public town meeting left a perfect opportunity for those affected to voice their concerns. The residents claimed that the scent was taking the place of fresh air, and it was time for change. The company was informed of the issues and after a call to the store, Martina Weinzierl from the city Department of Health and Environment informed citizens that recently, a letter was received from Abercrombie & Fitch about the removal of the machines in the entryway of their store.
One of the major fears is that the marketing tactic which Abercrombie & Fitch employs may be an inspiration to other stores hoping to promote not only their fragrance but also trying to draw shoppers into their stores with an enticing scent.
With the opening of Hollister, Abercrombie's sister company, right next door, the question remains if the scent will really be kept at bay.