Filed Under:

    Mystery On Fifth Avenue: A Constant Line Outside Abercrombie & Fitch

    Play associated audio

    Every day I walk down Fifth Avenue on my way to work. I pass glittering holiday store windows, the Salvation Army ringing its bells and the sparkling tree at Rockefeller Center.

    But for months I've noticed a mystery: Only one store has huge lines outside before it opens: Abercrombie & Fitch.

    Perhaps 90 people stand on line every day before opening, rain or shine. It's been going on for years and not just during this season.

    It didn't make sense; you can find the store in almost any mall. So one day, I began asking people on the line where they were from: not one was from the United States.

    They were from Hungary, England, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland, France, you name it. And they hadn't come because of the male models in the store — nude from the waist up — although a woman from the U.K. laughed and said, "of course it helps!"

    I finally did some research. It turns out, the company has spent millions on a huge marketing campaign in Europe — but there are only a few stores there. So the New York store has become a beacon for every foreign tourist.

    Who knew? Mystery solved.

    (Margot Adler is a national desk correspondent based in New York.)

    Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

    WAMU 88.5

    Customers Bid Farewell To One Of The D.C. Region's Last Video Stores

    Longtime movie lovers say they'll miss the shop, but they'll especially mourn the gradual death of an American tradition.
    NPR

    Tabasco And Beer-Flavored: Not Your Easter Bunny's Jelly Beans

    On the eve of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day, let us probe the mysterious origins and unexpected ascendency of the humble candy. And to celebrate, we've sampled Jelly Belly's newest flavors.
    WAMU 88.5

    Judge Says Ex-Governor McDonnell Can't Withhold Documents From Prosecutors

    McDonnell asked to keep the information from prosecutors, saying it would expose his trial strategy, but a judge says prosecutors can't be excluded.
    WAMU 88.5

    Free Public Wi-Fi Comes To NoMa

    The NoMa Business Improvement District has started to provide free Wi-Fi in some parts of the neighborhood, but some users say the service is still too sluggish.

    Leave a Comment

    Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.