Forget hot shirtless shop personnel greeting customers when entering the Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister stores.

From April 24, 2015, they both have modified their store policy and brand image. Such changes, including a shift toward a brand-based organization, are part of a strategy that includes the appointment of brand president Christos Angelides, for the A&F brands, and Fran Horowitz for Hollister, following the retirement of their long-time CEO, Mike Jeffries, last December.

While keeping their focus on providing an easy and enjoyable in-store experience, the brands are moving toward a more customer-centric store-operating model and higher commitment to inclusion and diversity. In fact, over 50% of its associates’ ethnic background is non-white and a significant gender diversity is among their senior management (a large percentage of their top managers are women).

Aim of their new strategy is also to offer an improved sensory experience by adjusting scent, lighting, music and trees to ensure a more pleasurable shopping experience, an evolution that already began in 2014, when Hollister had increased lighting significantly in Europe and Asia, which they are now also rolling out in the US.

New hiring and dress code policies are also being put into place. “A&F will recruit and hire the best associates whose focus will be on offering our customers an excellent in-store shopping experience,” commented Christos Angelides, brand president, A&F. “We will not tolerate discrimination based on body type or physical attractiveness and will not tolerate discrimination in hiring based on any category protected under the law.” The company’s previous look policy is now being replaced by a new dress code, with an open-minded approach allowing associates to be more individualistic even if associates will continue to be asked not to wear any exaggerated jewelry, visible piercing, obscene or large tattoos or excessive makeup.

“Store associates titles will change from ‘model’ to ‘brand representative’ to align with their new customer focus,” continues Angelides, also pointing out that by end July 2015, there will no longer be sexualized marketing materials including in-store photos, gift cards, and shopping bags. A&F and Hollister have also engaged themselves to no longer use shirtless models for store openings and events even if, consistent with the fragrance industry, the shirtless model image will continue to appear on A&F’s Fierce cologne.

“The company expects it will take some time before customers realize the benefits of all these changes,” continues Angelides. “Further aligning our policies with our corporate values and those of our customers will make the company stronger and more nimble. These initiatives reflect A&F’s commitment to making significant changes to drive growth, improve profitability and create value for shareholders.”