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why we buy the Hype

So what do you think is worth queuing for? Throngs of teens are expected to form large queues on College Green for the opening of Abercrombie & Fitch's first Irish store on Thursday to get a hold of what they consider to be the coolest hoodie on the planet.

"There is huge excitement throughout secondary schools right now about the opening of this store," says Corina Gaffey, fashion editor with Kiss magazine -- aimed at teenage girls.

"To be able to say you were there on the opening day of the first ever Abercrombie & Fitch store in Ireland will be a massive thing for any teenager," says stylist Corina.

"For them, it's about being part of an experience and when you consider that Abercrombie & Fitch is the uniform of youth, and how much time an average teenager has on their hands, then you see why this is a massive outing for them.

"They'll be talking about being there on the day the store opened for weeks to come."

American label Abercrombie & Fitch specialises in luxury-end casual clothing for teenagers and young adults and has become one of the most popular designer brands ever for teens.

Queuing for an object of desire is nothing new. Gadget fans queued outside O2's outlet on Grafton Street last month to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.

Psychology

"I think queuing for a phone or any gadget is about wanting to be able to discuss it with all your gadget-loving friends," says Edward Smith, publisher and editor of Suburbia magazine.

"If you're talking about the psychology of queuing, personally, I will go out of my way to go to a Starbucks and queue for a coffee even though I don't think it's the best coffee around," he says.

"I like the design of Starbucks and I think the coffee makers and the people behind the counter are very friendly. I like the size of the cups, and, in fact, there's very little I don't like about the Starbucks coffee experience.

"I will queue because buying a Starbucks coffee makes me happy."

"Teenagers going to America would come home dressed head to toe in Abercrombie & Fitch and, as far as status symbols go, it has been a bit like a woman carrying an 'It' bag, such as a Mulberry handbag," says magazine fashion editor Corina.

"Then there's the loud music and dim lighting and good-looking guys which are associated with the Abercrombie & Fitch brand and which makes the whole shopping experience feel like hanging out at a nightclub."

A spokesperson for Abercrombie & Fitch said: "We believe there is a strong and positive appetite for our brand here and we expect large crowds to come along and check out the store. The A&F 'hot guys' will be greeting and taking pictures with fans."

The "hot guys" refers to Abercrombie & Fitch's tradition of hiring buff guys to promote the clothing chain. The opening of the store was originally heralded by a massive poster of a naked male torso at College Green, which had to be taken down due to a question of planning permission.

What is probably remarkable is that people are queuing for luxury items in these straitened times. Abercrombie & Fitch hoodies cost approximately €70 online and are expected to cost in or around the same in the new store, and depending on what deal a buyer got, getting their hands on the iPhone 5 cost some people hundreds of euros.

Teens aren't the only people affected by a must-have frenzy either.

"A Philip Armstrong dress costing €940 was hugely popular after it was seen on the WAGs in England at the races over the summer and customers were put on a waiting list for the dress," says Orlagh Grandon, of Harvey Nichols, Dundrum.

Desirability

"We've had the Alexander McQueen skull scarves since we opened in 2005 and they were an instant sell-out back then and are a must-have again -- with skulls being a huge trend this season. They cost €200 so are in the luxury end of things."

Gillian de Lacy, of the Four Seasons, said the hotel had been operating a 'discreet wait list' for its spa treatments for a while.

"There's a strong 'wait list' for January for when our new Tropical Dream package becomes available," she says. "Regulars or members of the spa were told about the package ahead of its launch and the interest and demand is so strong the 'wait list' is already long," she says.

The €185 pampering package includes a 40-minute aromatic magnolia face treatment and massage with magnolia essential oil, followed by a full body massage and a two-course lunch by the pool.

So, does having to queue for an item, or going on a wait list, increase its desirability in the eyes of the person who is experiencing the deferred gratification?

Dublin psychologist Niamh Hannan said: "It's about supply and demand and the perceived value people place on things. If a person has to wait on something then they may feel special when they acquire it."


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