American teen wear retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is facing further setbacks in its absurd attempt to open a children’s store on Savile Row. Their latest application to Westminster Council was described as “deeply flawed” by one council official.
The sections of the plans objected to by the council centre around Abercrombie & Fitch wishing to make major structural changes to the Grade II-listed building they have bought at number 3 Savile Row. The company applied for permission to open a children’s store last year and was allowed to move into the building, which comes under a Special Policy Area order designed to keep tailoring as the principal trading activity on Savile Row.
Other requests in the retailer’s application that were refused included playing music loud enough to be heard on the street; allowing hordes of teenagers to linger on the pavement outside the store; vulgar celebrity-attended promotional events and pumping eau de cologne out of the windows to attract customers (and besmirch the clothing of customers visiting their tailors on Savile Row). A report by the council’s strategic director for built environment said a plan for fixed screens on the windows, shutting out light to create a nightclub feel, was “deeply flawed” and damaging to the character of the street. It also said the flagpoles that normally hang from Abercrombie & Fitch stores were “highly inappropriate”. Abercrombie & Fitch have appealed and a public inquiry is set for February 12.
When the proposed new store was announced last year, The Chap staged a protest outside number 3, Savile Row on 23rd April, chanting our slogan, “Give Three-Piece a Chance.” It looks as though Westminster Council has either heard our voices, or has some very well-dressed councillors on the board.