Abercrombie is turning down thier in-store branding
The Abercrombie location at The Grove in LA. Photo credit: Prayitno / CC BY

One of the most extreme, eye-catching, and polarizing names in in-store branding is going through a complete transformation. Abercrombie & Fitch has long been known for its shuttered stores, loud pop music, and pungent distinctive fragrance. This unique in-store experience gave the clothing brand an exclusive and edgy feel that made it popular with an affluent young crowd. Through the early 2000’s the company boomed and stores adorned with images of shirtless youths could be found in malls across the country. However, Abercrombie has fallen on hard times. With H&M and Forever 21 offering low-priced clothing items mimicking high-end fashion in brightly lit stores, the classically preppy polo shirt style has fallen out of favor with high-school aged Americans. Abercrombie has also faced self-inflicted complications, including controversial comments by the CEO Mike Jeffries and internal strife between activist investors and company leaders. Without significantly changing the core brand offerings, A&F has closed 170 retail stores since 2009 and suffered a 77% drop in profits last year.

Abercrombie and Fitch has decided to make a big change. Though the changes to the product line will be relatively small (black is no longer strictly forbidden from the line) the in-store brand is going under a major overhaul. Shades are removed from windows, fragrances are drastically reduced, and music volume will be decreased from late-night dance club to trendy bar decibel levels. This is a change to move the store from exclusive and overwhelming to welcoming and modern. The impact of these changes are still unknown and will be followed closely by store designers. Abercrombie has one of the most recognizable store brands in the world and this shift by one of the pillars of mall store design will be tracked to see if this trend should be followed by major competition.


The tech world is currently buzzing about Apple’s potential $3.2 billion dollar acquisition of Beats Electronics. In case this is the first you have heard of Beats, it is a high-end headphone maker started by a few famous names in music (most notably rapper and record producer Dr. Dre). Beats by Dre, as the brand is best known, has branched out from just headphones and speakers and purchased MOG, a streaming radio service. It then launched Beats Music, which is its own streaming music service.

So why would Apple purchase Beats?

This is a good question, especially because Apple historically only acquires technologies in order to create their own iBranded products. Beats by Dre is a very strong brand, and stands out among other high-priced audio equipment because of its youthful, stylish marketing. But Apple might be willing to change its strategy a little. Apple has not produced a world-beating technology in the last few years, indeed since the late Steve Jobs completed his tenure at the helm. Plus, Beats speakers and headphones have secured a place on Apple’s exclusive retail shelves. The combination between Apple’s iconic and stylish brand and Beats by Dre’s youthful influencer marketing can help Apple stay cool with the next generation of affluent Millennials.


In 2011, the New York Times created a project to determine the ten very best composers of all time. This list featured many of the names you might expect: Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Bartok, but it is Johann Sebastian Bach who tops the list. Now the Netherlands Bach Society is recording every one of Bach’s works and making it available online at allofbach.com. They will be posting a new piece every Friday for you to enjoy as well as discussions of the works.

The Netherlands Bach Society, which formed in 1921, is using modern technology to introduce the best composer of all time to a wider audience. The Society will also be featuring guest performers to participate in their great musical undertaking.

If you are interested in testing the waters, we recommend Herr Gott, Dich loben alle wir to start. If that isn’t your pace, maybe one of the other 1079 pieces will suit you better.

At Overhead.fm, we enjoy many different genres of music from classical to EDM, and it is fantastic projects like these that demonstrate the timelessness of great art.

If you’d like to hear Bach in your business, we recommend our “Classical” and “Baroque Greats” playlists for businesses.

Overhead.fm has always sought to be the best background music service businesses of all sizes, from the corner store to large chains. Since January 2013, we’ve offered multi-location accounts for our larger customers. These accounts allow businesses with multiple locations to schedule music in advance and to remotely administer multiple accounts.

Today, we’re making some big changes to how scheduling and multi-location accounts work.

Deeper Integration

Music scheduling interface

We are eliminating the concept of separate “multi-location accounts” and integrating these features into our core application. This means that as your business grows from one location to five, your music can scale with you, without needing to call your account rep. It also means that you can administer multiple locations from the same interface you use to play music.

Every Plus, Premier and Enterprise account now includes location and scheduling tools by default.

To add an additional user, simply go to “Users → Add User.” Users can have permission to play music, administer the account, or both. Music playback accounts are paid at the rate of your plan, and administrator accounts are free.

Scheduling Groups

Music scheduling interface

To make music scheduling even easier for businesses with multiple locations, we’re now introducing Scheduling Groups. To create a group, go to “Scheduling → New Scheduling Group.” Each group can be comprised of as many locations as you’d like. Once added to a group, are controlled by the scheduling preferences of the group.

To set scheduling for a group, click “Edit Music Schedule.” This schedule allows you to break a week into parts and schedule a different playlist for different times of the day. Scheduling can be toggled on or off at any time, which is useful for special events and other times you would want to interrupt your standard programming.

Online Immediately

If you are a Plus, Premier, or Enterprise account holder, these new features are already in your account. Try them out, and, as always, let us know if you have any questions.

Overhead.fm's new mobile apps

More of Overhead.fm’s subscribers use our iOS or Android app than our browser player, and it’s easy to see why. Tablets are less expensive, smaller and simpler to use than a computer, making them perfectly suited for use in businesses.

That’s why we’re showing our mobile apps some love. When we launched our mobile apps in 2012, they were designed be used alongside a computer: the apps were great for playback, but a computer was required for complicated account management.

Today, that’s changing for our users on both iOS and Android. Our updated apps bring every feature of Overhead to mobile, and they unify our mobile look-and-feel with our recently redesigned webapp.

If you’re on iOS7 or most Android devices, your app will update automatically. If not, you can download the new version from the App Store (for iPhone, iPod and iPad) or the Google Play Store (for Android).

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