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Hollister brings California style to city mall

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/9/2010 (3695 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

California-based retailer Hollister specializes in casual apparel and surfwear.

MARY ALTAFFER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

California-based retailer Hollister specializes in casual apparel and surfwear.

DUDES and Bettys of Winnipeg will likely have a one-word reaction to news that Hollister Co. is coming to town -- choka.

The California-based casual and surfwear retailer has confirmed it will open a 6,000-square-foot store in Polo Park Shopping Centre on Dec. 16. ("Choka" is a surfing term for "bitchin'.")

Iska Hain, a spokesperson for Hollister's parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, described its offering, which includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweats and jeans as, "southern California. It's a laid-back lifestyle, it's all-American, effortlessly cool."

Hollister's target market isn't men and women, it's "Dudes" and "Bettys" in the 15-to-35-year-old age group. It's moving into the space vacated by Addition-Elle, a plus-sized women's clothing boutique, in July.

"Winnipeg is lucky to secure such a strong retailer and it's good for the city that they're looking at our market," said Deborah Green, general manager of Polo Park.

Robert Warren, a marketing professor at the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, said Hollister is moving in to an underserviced market for the "younger person's look."

"They're bringing a different style. It's getting away from the typical clothing that we see in Winnipeg, where the selection is pretty basic," he said. "It's new, it's got a different flair to it and it's definitely bringing in the southern California influence."

Green said the mall, which has 1.2 million square feet of space, is 99 per cent full. She said she has a couple of small openings but her main focus is finding a new tenant for the 20,000-square-foot spot that McNally Robinson Booksellers used to call home.

"We're talking with a lot of people right now but nothing has been finalized yet," she said.

Hollister has more than 600 stores around the world, including seven across Canada. It isn't the only high-profile retailer to be moving into the city's biggest mall. Earlier this summer, Forever 21 and BCBGMAXAZRIA, two other California-based companies, announced they would open later this year or in early 2011 in the space that was the longtime home to Canada Safeway.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

What the Hollister?

WINNIPEG'S soon-to-be-newest retailer is based upon the fictional character John M. Hollister, who was an adventurous youth who spent his early years practising sports in the waters of Maine. After falling in love with California, he established Hollister Co. in Laguna Beach in 1922.

The company's early days saw it selling South Pacific treasures, such as hand-crafted jewelry, linens and artifacts from the islands. According to company lore, the company is still run by the fictional Hollister family.

The company is known for its strict "beach-vibe" dress code. Female employees are told not to wear makeup and little to no jewelry is allowed. If they aren't wearing Hollister-branded jeans, their pants must not have any competitors' logos. Men are to be clean-shaven. Any shoe that is not white, blue or leather flip flops is forbidden. The one exception to this rule is Vans-branded shoes.

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