The Business of Fashion ponders the outlook for Anthropologie & Co…

photo via the Business of Fashion

Anthropologie recently opened its newest Anthropologie & Co department store location in King of Prussia, PA (you can see photos on Anthro’s official blog, plus an Eye Candy post with photos from Stefanie later this week!) and the Business of Fashion takes a deep dive into the concept in a fascinating feature, wondering how Anthropologie will compete with traditional department stores and what the company is doing to set itself apart.

Some highlights from the article include:

– The Walnut Creek Anthropologie & Co is 30,000+ square feet, WOW.
– The next Anthropologie & Co in Palo Alto, CA is due to open November 18 (unconfirmed,and the public opening may be Saturday the 19th)
– Westport, CT will get an Anthropologie & Co next Spring (2017); there is already a beautiful Terrain location there
– “And Anthropologie has several advantages. For one, the company has always had an authentic lifestyle concept around its apparel offerings. At URBN, it’s called “life stage” retail, and it’s the philosophy the company was founded upon in 1970.

It was then that current URBN chief executive Richard Hayne opened Free People, a shop with his college roommate that sold second-hand clothes, jewellery and furniture. That store morphed into Urban Outfitters, and in 1992, Hayne and his wife, Margaret, opened Anthropologie, an elevated brand targeting women who had perhaps grown out of the youth-and-trend-driven Urban Outfitters aesthetic. Free People, which had for years been sold as a label at “Urban” and “Anthro,” as they are casually referred to, was spun off as its own concept in 2002. (Along with serving as URBN’s chief creative officer, Margaret Hayne is also currently chief executive of Free People.) In 2008, Hayne’s personal obsession with gardening fuelled the development of Terrain, and in 2011 came BHLDN, which tapped into the need for alternatives in the wedding market. In many ways, the recent acquisition of the Vetri Family restaurant group rounds out the URBN portfolio, although there are clearly more opportunities to tap in beauty, wellness, home goods and travel.
– “Superstores are also not entirely new to the URBN family. Urban Outfitters has long experimented with unique formatting, opening a 57,000-square-foot store on New York’s Herald Square in 2014, complete with a beauty salon, Amoeba Music record store and cafe serving coffee from La Colombe coffee, another Philadelphia business.” — I love this Urban Outfitters, especially the huge shoe section!

The feature is well worth a full read, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Do you live near an Anthropologie & Co? What do you think of the idea versus a traditional Anthropologie store? What shortfalls have you found at Anthropologie & Co? (For instance, when I visited the Portland Anthropologie & Co last Spring, they didn’t have BHLDN or Petites, both of which they’ve since started carrying.)

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