Abercrombie & Fitch's Smelly Problem

Fierce Abercrombie & Fitch stores have always reminded me of my childhood basement: they're dark, over-crowded and smelly. That last complaint is attributed to AF's Fierce cologne -- a musky scent that smells all too much like a drunk uncle at a family reunion -- being pumped throughout their stores. In other words: gag.

Lately, the retail king of shirtless men and polo shirts has been struggling financially. After many complaints about their dark lighting and aggressive spritzing, they're lifting the window shades and toning down the smell by 25%. Maybe that will improve business?

But researchers at Concordia University say not so fast. A study on how store scent affects shoppers revealed its affect on anxiety. It's just not how intense the smell is, it's the type of smell and what environment it's in. For example, shoppers felt most relaxed in a bustling store with a scent that conjured open spaces, like the beach or the outdoors.

The study also concluded that the musky scent of Fierce in combination with a crowded store makes for an anxiety-inducing shopping experience. Perhaps, AF should consider another signature scent. Perhaps, some Pine-Sol?