Thursday, March 17, 2005

RUEHL No.925

This past Saturday, I went to the new RUEHL store at the Twelve Oaks mall in Novi. Just when you thought everything great came from California or New York City, Abercrombie & Fitch decides to open their new line of themed clothing stores in cities like Paramus NJ, Schaumburg IL, Tampa FL, and Novi MI. I randomly bumped into two friends who work at the store.. so that was pretty random & cool too.

The store was surprisingly cool. It looks like a nondescript, trendy New york City house randomly dropped into the middle of a midwest shopping mall. There's no name on the store, which was pretty funky. The pic above is from the a RUEHL MSN Group I found. I should've taken a few myself, but soon enough I'm sure they'll be at malls all across the country.

The clothes were pretty slick too. I bought a white polo. The material seems rugged enough. They also have some pretty awesome jeans I now regret not buying. They're going for a New York City-infused theme -- a refreshing change from all the California skater/surfer beach wear stores. It's a bit pricey, though not as bad as Lacoste or Diesel. I hope it catches on.

I thought it was pretty interesting how the A&F stores (Abercrombie, Hollister, and RUEHL) were pretty packed, while the Gap stores (Gap and Banana Republic) were empty. I think Gap's missing the boat on the whole themed-store trend. Gap's trying to go upscale a bit, and only taking away market from Banana, which seams like a stupid move to me.

Doh -- 11:30 -- gotta run to class!

Update: This page seems to be getting quite a few hits. So, I've posted a few new pics below from my 2nd trip to the RUEHL store (yesterday) [4/28 - 4:10pm]



41 comments:

Anonymous said...

While Ruehl may be in middle america, it's totally based on a New York/London store feel and about half the clothes are Abercrombie stuff rebranded.

That said it's like the complete opposite of the holister store layout (where you get in and can never get out). I wonder how much they paid design consultants to setup the layout.

Anonymous said...

I loved the store as soon as I walked in. I loved the set up, and the theme of it all. I had dreams of living in a store like that because of it's feel when u walk in. It feels like an apartment.

Anonymous said...

I want to see more pics of the store's layout.

Matt Hoopes said...

i just got hired at the RUEHL in Mclean VA at Tysons corner and the store is going to be set up exactly like greenich newyork and have the "apartment" type feel to it, my store will be the 6th in the nation and they have not even completed construction yet, our open dat is june 30th so i will post pics then. . .

Dublin Saab said...

In response to the first post I would like to rebuff their claim that half of Ruehl's clothing is just rebranded A&F clothes.

Your claim is completely false and you are in grave error. My fiance is a designer for ruehl and I can vouch that the clothing is not simply rebranded but is 100% designed in house by reuhl people in the reuhl building.

Anonymous said...

Ruehl is an awesome store, I visited the Tampa location while on spring break and I think A&F is making good moves in the retail market with concepts like Hollister and Ruehl. I can't wait to see the 5th and 6th concepts that are to come and I hope we can see a Ruehl store opening soon in Kentucky.

Anonymous said...

Ruehl has opened up a new store in Columbus, Ohio at Easton Towne Center. Abercrombie's home office is in Columbus so it only natural that a Concept store like Ruehl start out in its home market.

Anonymous said...

I've worked at RUEHL since it opened at our mall here in Tampa, FL. a little before Christmas of last year and I still support it. I absolutley LOVE the selection of girls clothing we have. It is definetly an experience.

Anonymous said...

I like how the Ruehl family lore is fake as well as the alleged address of the family (there is no number 925 on Greenwich street). I guess it is just like all Abercrombie-family stores: fake and expensive. It would be interesting to see if residents of New York City would shop at Ruehl, but alas, NYC is not one of the test sites. In fact, most of the new stores are in the Midwest. And since this store is obviously going for a NYC persona, I wonder if the print ads in the store will reflect the (non-existent) diversity currently portrayed by Abercrombie & Fitch stores or the diversity that actually exists in New York City.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they made up the store address and family history for LEGAL reasons? Too many strings attached. It's easier to mold a story for your target audience.

Alot of new retail opens in the midwest only because its a great test market not NYC

Sorry if this store cant fullfill your NY elitest attitude. Its a nice day out. Go take a walk in the park.

Anonymous said...

I love the Ruehl stores also, but I wish you could see in there! You have to walk over to a light to see the item you are interested in! I guess that is part of the "not letting you out" layout! The prices are above the sister Abercrombie, but I just love the clothes!

Anonymous said...

Hi, can someone tell me if there is an age limit in the hiring process at Ruehl?
Thanks on advance!

Anonymous said...

I THINK IT'S FUNNY HOW MOST OF YOU SAY THINGS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW. I WORK FOR ABERCROMBIE & FITCH HOME OFFICE AND I CAN TRULEY SAY THE RUEHL DESIGN IS A COMPLETE OPPISITE OF ABERCROMBIE. QUALITY, FEEL, LOOK ARE FACTORED IN TO THIS NEW BRAND THAT IS A STEP ABOVE ABERCROMBIE. THERE ACTUALLY WAS A RUEHL FAMILY JUST LIKE ABERCROMBIE FAMILY. WHILE THE STORY WAS BEING MADE UP FOR RUEHL IT GOT SO REAL THAT THEY ACTUALLY BOUGHT RIGHTS TO THE NAME FROM A FAMILY IN GRENWICH VILLAGE. JUST LIKE DAVE ABERCROMBIE THE STORY AND NAME IS REAL, THIS CAN BE FOUND AT THE FLAGSHIP 5TH AVENUE STORE OPENING NEXT MONTH WITH REAL 1895 ABERCROMBIE PIECES ON DISPLAY. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PRICES AT RUEHL AND ABERCROMBIE NOW, DON'T EVEN TAKE A STEP IN TO THE 5TH AVENUE STORE WHERE PRICES WILL BE TRIPLE THE PRICES. I ACTUALLY SEEN A EZRA FITCH SWEATER THAT WILL BE THERE THAT WILL COST OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Anonymous said...

Tysons mall just got a huge extension this past weekend, and pretty much the entire female population at my school went there. I heard many, many accounts of how awesome Ruehl was. Now, I am not a big fan of Abercrombie in the first place, and I don't know what the connection there is, but I don't get it. The look and feel Ruehl's going for is classy, unique, and quirky, and while the store layout succeeds, I see nothing unique about the clothing. It's just not special. I think that the people who designed the decorations should get promotions and that the people who designed the clothes should reconsider what they want the store to be about--being unique or being like everyone else. Right now, i'ts not clear.

Lou-sizzle said...

well, there're no Ruehl's in CA ... yet!!! I know there's one opening in San Diego's Fashion Valley (Which rocks, cuz I live like an hour away)! From the pics and comments I've seen/heard I'm looking forward to experiencing the whole "attitude" of the store ...

as for the dim lighting, I work at an Hollister, and I swear I used to think it was a dark store, but now I've grown so accustomed to it from working there that my eyes are seriously sensitive to light! ha ha, but I hear so many complaints about how customer's can't see, that it's so annoying now!

I got in trouble for muttering a "you swear as if it's as dark as a f*cking cave in here" while dealing with a customer ... she yelled at me and almost got me fired! But w/e, I still got my job ...

Anonymous said...

I visited the Ruehl in Tampa. The staff was helpful and sweet. I impulse bought a pair of Jane jeans. I nearly shot myself for paying the $120 price tag, but now they're my favorite jeans. A&F's jeans never fit me.

I understand that Ruehl may have a separate design team, but as a customer, I felt cheated. More ripped jeans and slogan shirts? I was hoping for something different: urban, slick, sylish, not understated. There were a few pieces scattered that were just that. I hope they go in that direction.

I participated in a test marketing scheme at UF and remember it being diverse and like I said 'urban'.

And I dont care about not escaping the store. It's gorgeous, stylish, smells great (I love when my clothes smell like it). The packaging is fantastic. I understand that's where the money is really going. I pay for the experience.

Anonymous said...

As a 35yo male, I am supposedly the 'target market' for Ruehl. I have a few comments.
First the good: I really do love the clothes. Being from Chicago, the have a really great urban vibe. The store is amazing looking even if it is a bit dark.
Now the bad: The prices are completely insane! I know they are good quality, but $48 for a tshirt makes me laugh. EVERY SINGLE person in the store looks like they are about 19-20 years old and most were clueless when asked questions. I expect quality salespeople along with the quality merchandise. I do not want to see everyone in flip-flops and turned up polo collars and hear the word 'like' over and over while trying on $1k in clothing. There are also TOO MANY sales people and they hound you while you walk around. Maybe get some cool urban people to help sell the cool urban clothes. I dont want the jager-bomb drinking frat bro to follow me around. Some bugs to work out but I think it's a great place!

Anonymous said...

while 'trendy" looking,all the black interior, and the individual "rooms" reminds me of s & m bars of the late '70's in NYC.

The employees just "decorate".

The prices are ridiculous, but it is a great concept.

HS said...

Ya, I saw the Novi one today.

The store was cool, the clothing was great, but prices tended to be a bit steep on some clothes.. at least on a college budget.

Oh but on the plus side the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life works there apparently.

Oh and since I better comment about the clothing, the people working were decked out in it and they did look the part of the word "quality."

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is how do we Order online? Or at least look at the merchandise? I work for Abercrombie in Washington, and we dont have a Ruehl out here, so does anyone know how I get on the websit. The one I keep getting doesnt go anywhere, it's just a picture.

Anonymous said...

It's elite. You can't buy it online.

My friend from NYC was visiting, he loved it.

I went in there three times today, finally they asked if I was having problems with their clothing. I just kept going back for more!

The design is great, the 'slogan tees' are not as horrible as everyone is making them sound. They are different from Abercrombie in that they aren't as suggestive. Some are, most aren't.

The girls stuff is to die for.

If you have a problem with the prices, go to Abercrombie. Ruehl is aimed at an older audience than college students. If they were trying to sell to college students, their prices would be lower, simple as that. If you insist on shopping at Ruehl as a college student, bring your mother, or shop in the back, I got a cashmere sweater back there today for half off.

As far as the dim lights, do you have spotlights on at your home? It's designed to create an intimate home feeling. That is the lighting I would expect at a dinner party, where most would be comfortable and not feel as though their every move is being monitored by a security camera.

They are new, let's give them a little bit of a break...

Anonymous said...

I've been to the Ruehl in Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ. The prices may me out there, but their sales and clearance prices are great, usually half to two-tirds off the original price. The store has a very comfortable feel to it, it feels just like an apartment with the huge couches in the back, and also that very comfortable couch-bed on the womens' clothing side, which you can seriously fall easily asleep in. Even if your budget isn't looking up to buy a pair of $200 jeans, I always go there when in the mall just to relax on the couches. There's also a mirror-maze near the entrance/exit that I once bumped into myself in, haha. I think the clothin is unique and very different from Abercrombie's, it has a much more mature sense to the clothing.

Anonymous said...

Ruehl is a great concept for the maintstream, gregarious consumer.
I work for Diesel and I'd much rather shop at a department store like Barney's or Bloomingdales for a more personalized look.
If you're going for a cookie-cutter look, by all means shop here. I'll stick to Diesel which much more accurately represents an urban lifestyle, not to mention diversity and individualism. It shouldn't be so much about what you wear, but how you wear it -- and Ruehl falls very short of this.

Anonymous said...

It's abercrombie rebranded. Look at the jeans, cargo pants, shirts, and etc.. they're all the same - Hollister, AE, and RUEHL.

Except..
Hollister - low price
AE - mid price
RUEHL - high price

The difference is the price.

Anonymous said...

T-shirts with logos, loud thumping music, ripped jeans, tank tops, black and white photos of models half naked. The ONLY difference is the store and price.

Anonymous said...

well i think RUEHL is the best thang ever i went to NY for the opening n i foudn it so kool i bought like 2000 dollrs of clothes i didnt care to max my card the clothes are unique and i love them what can we do if u ppl dont like them u can just comment about or dont go to the store! sorry ppl is not our fault u dont have the money to purchase the clotheS!Muah Love ya bithches Sexy Bitch JOsh <3

Jenny said...

I want Ruehl. I work at AF in Washington and Ruehl is what everyone talks about

Anonymous said...

hey im looking for high res images of Ruehl for the fin review newspaper in Australia if you send me some pics through on email, I'll credit you. I need the pics asap. Pretty Please


email: visualguerillas@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I recently visited the new Ruehl store in Aventura(Miami). AF is tyring very hard to capture a more sophisticated slightly older crowd then AF and Hollister. The prices are a bit steep. Costumer service is excellent and a fresh departure from AF and Hollister.

Anonymous said...

I love the Abercrombie stores. Hollister is my faorite because it's in my price range, being a teenager and all. I'm worried that in a few years ruehl will get more widely spread and popular in school. People will step up from ANF to ruehl because their parents can afford it. I won't be able to keep up. I'm sure this dude is making enough money with al of his stores. So why ring every cent out of our pockets? Don't get me love I loe the fashion but I can't handle the prices and maybe just one day he'll go too far and his ideas will backfire.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the furniture at Ruehl comes from?

Anonymous said...

When Ruehl was first introduced to the GSP mall in NJ, the clothes were NOTHING like A&F. Yes, the clothes were expensive but well worth the money when paying for top quality material- cashmere, silk, embroidered tanks, and ect. The styles of the clothing were completely different from today and SO much nicer! I’ve worked there for 2 yrs and can confidently say that Ruehl is now a re-brand of A&F. The concepts of the clothes (Ruehl and A&F) are the SAME with the exception of slightly different patterns, brand name, and pricing. I’m not going to lie but the women clothing are cuter at Ruehl than at A&F but there really isn’t a big difference between the two. If you don’t feel like overpaying, the porch is always on 50% clearance. The Ruehl in NYC on Charles St. isn’t even a store- it’s a leather shop only filled with bags, belts, accessories, and a few logo “Ruehl 925” t-shirts. The store also used to be very strict on whom they hired but now that has seemed to change. So, squander your money at Ruehl but it’d be wiser to spend that much money and maybe a little more on better brands ie Rugby- branch of Ralph Lauren which has a preppy, urban look to it and their clothes are VERY cute and couture, Club Monaco, Stella McCartney, James Peres, Nordstrom and so on. Jasmine Sole even has better clothes and it’s right around the corner from Ruehl at the GSP mall.

Anonymous said...

I live two hours away from the Ruehl store in Easton Towne Center and hope that they will soon put one somewhere in Cincinnati. I am a shopper of abercrombie from about 10 years back and I find that even though the prices higher the clothes seem to hold up better than abercrombie clothes. I have had the same 3 pairs of Ruehl jeans for almost three years none of my abercrombie jeans have ever held up that long. I do also enjoyed shopping at stores like saks and nordstrom. I find alot clothing there that is also over priced like pairs of true religon jeans for $350 which is insane. Just like at Ruehl wait till the clothes are on sale before you buy them save yourself some money who gives a shit if your clothes are from the past season if you enjoy them, then why care what other people say.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the average price of a logo t-shirt?...
ive seen some people wearing it and it looked cool..
well thanks anyway.

meghannnn said...

ok, so i went to the one in schaumberg il this summer and i told my friends about it, only i live in alaska, so of course we don't have one. we just got an a&f like 4 years ago. but anyways, ruehl doesn't sell any clothes on their website...does anyone know where my friends could get some? because they want to be 'trendsetters', apparently...

jAcKsOn said...

hey, i luv Ruehl, i went to the store while i was also in Spring Break in Tampa, i went to the International Plaza location, and it was amazing, i ALSO hope we get a store here in the big KY soon... we have everything else! but its not A&F rebranded, i plan on designing for them after college, and its completely different... feel and quality is a little more upscale, but not by a long shot... the polos are amazing, i bought jeans too, they are the best jeans i own!

Anonymous said...

I'll admit, the store layout is very unique and striking. Prices seem a touch high this sort of threadage though.

Eliazar D'Lessio said...

Oh my God!!. I don't understand, there are women buying $1k glasses or dresses and men buying $900 suits.

For the love of god, las time I walked in to Lacoste and the clearance section was filled with $90 polos and button-ups, and as from Ruehl, their polos and button-ups are at 24.00-39.00 dollars.

So I dont know why people criticize the clothing to be astronomicaly expensive.

Anonymous said...

RUEHL WAS THE BEST STORE EVER, it should come back. and have prices as same as abercrombie

Anonymous said...

i so miss Ruehl. Fab clothes and great aftershave

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