Jack Wills vs. Abercrombie and Fitch

Where will you buy your next outfit?

There’s nothing like a well dressed, great smelling man. Both make the male species instantly more attractive. At Abercrombie and Fitch you can be guaranteed they’ll leave the shop fulfilling both criteria. There are just few things they need to survive beforehand. Like, for example, squinting, with a mammoth headache, nightclub tunes ringing in their ears and up to their eyes in anger. I’m an averagely tolerant person, but the staff in the Abercrombie stores I’ve been to are futile. Plain and simple. And I imagine have an IQ of about 5. Actually, can you call people standing around with no shirts staff?

After a few visits to various Abercrombie and Fitch stores you make yourself familiar with the idea not to expect much. The only thing you can expect is to leave at least $200 poorer and in a terrible mood, but on the plus side you will smell fantastic. You spend the green because despite the brutal service the clothes are beautiful, preppy, and well fitted. In addition, your brother bombards you with pictures of the flannel shirts and classic hoodies he wants you to bring home for him while you’re in the Americas. The abominable experience is unnecessarily prolonged by having to queue for fifty minutes even though there are only eight people in the line. How is that possible? It isn’t you’d think, but it is in the flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

Last September I was in the Fifth Avenue store and after my mammoth hour and a half tour of the four storey building and thirty minutes standing in the queue I began to lose my cool. I caught the eye of a staff member behind the counter with an expression that screamed John McEnroe’s famous “You cannot be serious?” line in the hope they’d speed things up. They didn’t. When I eventually reached the front of the queue with a face like thunder, I very reluctantly paid for my goods and as I turned to leave the guy at the till had the CHEEK to say “have a great day” to me! I would have had a great day had I not come into your shop, Sir. Goodbye now.

I see Jack Wills as a British version of Abercrombie who employ people with manners. I was in Jack Wills in Angel recently and to say it was a joy and hassle free – is an understatement. The staff actually have tongues! They talk to you, they smile and they’re proactive in asking if you need any help. In contrast, in Abercrombie you have to ask them for their assistance and not only do they never know the answer, they are also very unwilling to go out of their way and find out. Jack Wills stores are airy and bright with the right level of background noise allowing the customer to converse with their shopping partner or enjoy their own thoughts. Your ears are not assaulted with Rihanna’s latest offering and you can see where you’re going and what you’re buying.

In my opinion, the main difference between Jack Wills and Abercrombie is that you leave Jack Wills feeling the same about yourself as you did when you went in, and not like the biggest minger ever to walk the Earth like you do when you exit Abercrombie. The staff at Jack Wills are good looking folk and don’t think less of you because you haven’t got the body to be standing around topless. Working in Jack Wills is a job rather than a status symbol as it appears to be in Abercrombie.

I imagine if a camera followed me into any Abercrombie and Fitch store I’d come across worse than Karl Pilkington does in An Idiot Abroad. There’d be huge amounts of moaning, obscenities muttered under my breath as well as out loud, a fair amount of anger, shouting and frustration. Apart from the profanities the viewers would hear coming out of my mouth they’d also be witness to words aimed at the staff along the lines of  “You already said hello to me when I was up here looking forty minutes ago for the jumper, and you wouldn’t help me to find it.

Don’t say it again pal, and you can tell your shirtless colleague over there not to bother either.” I’d later regret saying it thinking I’d been too harsh but at the time I don’t think anyone could blame me and it would feel good to vent.

During the hiring process the interviewees mustn’t open their mouths because if they did management would surely realise the folk they’re hiring are extremely unemployable. I’m sure they’re nice people and come from good families, but, my god, reliable and positive customer service is not their forte.

Jack Wills staff are friendly, helpful, happy, enthusiastic and well mannered. Abercrombie and Fitch staff are so far away from where they should be you’d have a better chance of discovering the true identity of Banksy and winning the lottery in the same day than receiving decent customer service and an acceptable shopping experience in any Abercrombie store.

 Written by Sarah Connolly

8 Responses to “Jack Wills vs. Abercrombie and Fitch”
  1. As an American, it was great to see a different perspective towards Abercrombie. I’m not the biggest fan of their clothes or their service either. I was thrilled when Jack Wills created a site for American customers! I prefer their clothes over Abercrombie any day.

  2. kadry i place says:

    Very useful post. It was very relavant. I was searching exaxtly for this. Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such useful posts.

  3. beccar says:

    Great! I enjoyed it! Eugenia Renskoff

  4. ANFsm says:

    I am a store manager at Abercrombie & Fitch and this comment left me appalled. I am sorry for your bad experiences but that is NOT how every Abercrombie is ran. There are stores out there that actually put their customers first! I hope some day you experience this service so you can change your perspective on Abercrombie and our company!

  5. Mark says:

    A friend of mine was literally ‘cherry picked’ from the streets for a job at Abercrombie. She was told because she was good looking that was why she was chosen. It was well paid and when they asked her what she would have to do they suggested not much at all (just stand around). There was no interview process and they had no interest what so ever in her personality (which is backwards because she is a really cool and kind girl). She was interested at first as I suppose its quite a compliment.. the fact that they were only interested in her looks.. she changed her mind after realising how shallow the offer was. At first it seemed too good to be true. The store experience your suggesting doesn’t surprise me if this is the employment process. Love their clothes though..

  6. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How lengthy have you ever
    been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy.
    The entire glance of your site is great, let alone
    the content!

  7. danielle says:

    I’ve worked at abercombie for the past year and I can honestly say, if you don’t like our store, don’t shop in it haha. there are so many people in our stores so to be honest, we don’t need disgruntled people to be in our stores. there is an interview process, so really, don’t be jealous just because you aren’t good looking enough to get hired

  8. Cherie Ward says:

    This article is right on! I have shopped at various Abercrombie’s as well as Hollister stores and it is always the same unhelpful pretty people who can’t leave their section of the store to help you, nauseating perfume, long lines and blaring music! Recently I was in Boston and shopped at Abercrombie and Jack Wills in the same day. What a difference! Not only does Jack Wills have nicer clothes at a better price point, they have over the top helpful sales people who are prettier than Abercrombie’s! Also no smelly scents and loud music coming out of the ceiling! What a great concept…great customer service! Let’s hope for Abercrombie’s sake Jack Wills doesn’t decide to expand in the US!

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