Ruehl: A&F’s hip new retail concept

This post has absolutely nothing to do with technology and is only tangentially related to entrepreneurship but I just visted a Ruehl 925 store (their fourth to date since beginning the line in September of 2004; even their webpage is still new) in Novi and I was very impressed. There is no signage on the front of the store and it is designed to appear like a brick house in Greenwich Villlage with details covering everything down to the wrought iron fence outside. It attracts attention because you don’t know what is beyond the dimly lit entrance which only offers peeks inside of what looks like expensive casual clothing and designer bags. Those brave enough to take a visit inside are treated to upscale adult fashion in a very artsy and elegantly contemporary interior compliments of the folks at Abercrombie & Fitch (huh?) but much, much better. I’m more of a J. Crew, Banana Republic, Marshall Fields, Nordstrom kind of guy and I don’t like Abercrombie or its teenie bopper cousin, Hollister at all so I was extremely surprised to discover (after a quick search on the internet to satisfy my burning curiousity for the inside scoop) once I got back home that Reuhl 925 is the brainchild of the grunge guys at A&F. Reuhl is an effort to satisfy sophisticated grown-ups, though still something of a younger set–late twenties, early thirties–who like the finer things in casual. Mission accomplished.

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