I took my first trip to Gilly Hicks a mere two weeks or so ago, and my first thought was, This is the most BIZARRE store I have ever been in.
According to Wikipedia, Gilly Hicks is owned by Abercrombie and Fitch and was inspired by the phrase "down under" which no doubt is what ties it into the Sydney, Australia location, which is a complete fabrication since it is and always was an American company. Creators of the brand created the fictional character, Gilly Hicks. whose life is the one on which the store is based.
For those of you who have never been there, here's a run down:
Upon entering the store, which I had passed for years without really noticing it because it looks like someone's dark front porch, I saw this:
I got this image online, but the store in my local mall was set up similarly.
Someone turn on the lights! And... where are the employees?
Doesn't this look like a beauty counter at a high end department store (except for the fact that SOMEONE FORGOT TO TURN ON THE LIGHTS). Did the counter girl run off for an extended break before someone came in to cover her shift? Does it make me a person of bad moral character if I immediately noted how very EASY it would probably be to steal things from the counter? (And you know you're getting old when you discuss this issue with your peers and they comment on issues of personal safety as well.)
There was no visible register. No visible employees of any kind. No signs, and you wouldn't see the doorways to the next room until you were right in front of them. We walked back to the very front of the store and peeked into a room on the side, where a lone employee was folding bras in a room the size of a large bathroom, at what looked like someone's dining room table. "Hi, welcome to Gilly Hicks, do you need any help finding anything?" No thanks, just wondering if I fell down the rabbit hole in Alice's Wonderland.
We walked into an oval shaped adjoining room with a large drawing of a semi-naked man on the wall, at which point, my son seemed to begin having an allergic reaction to his surroundings.
Mom - can we get out of here, please?
My daughter, however, was on the hunt for a Gilly Hicks sweatshirt and would not be deterred. In the adjoining room on the other side of the naked-man room, we finally hit pay-dirt. Sweatshirts. Nice ones - on sale for twenty dollars. But when she held up the dark one she liked, we couldn't tell if it was navy blue or black. Seriously... couldn't tell. We held it under the beam from the halogen light - blue? Yes, blue... I think.
My poor son was practically getting itchy at this point.
MOM!! Can we GO now?
I think he was worrying that someone he knew would spot him in there and he'd never live it down.
Sure, son, we just have to pay for this.
And then, another first. I could NOT find the register.
It was just like this youtube video...
I actually had to ASK someone to give me directions to the register.
Yesterday, we went back to Gilly Hicks for more sweatshirts and matching sweatpants. We managed to find the dressing rooms (due, in large part, to the numerous shoppers standing around waiting with clothes draped over their arms).
Check out the interior of this dressing room:
Creating some ambiance, maybe? or do they actually think we're going to park ourselves in there and read novels?
...in our underwear?
...in the dark, no less?