Anthropologie Introduces Destination Shopping
Last week, Urban Outfitters, Inc. reported plans to roll out 25 to 50 new Anthropologie "mini-malls" over the next five years. The new stores will be nearly three times the size of Anthropologie's current stores, "creating an atmosphere where shoppers can hang out," according to a Bloomberg article. The goal of the strategy is to double sales from the brand by 2020.
By increasing its product assortment — wedding, home goods, beauty, intimates — Anthropologie hopes to transition from women's apparel to a lifestyle brand. In addition to greater product selection, the larger stores will consist of salon blowouts, restaurants and and mini-shops of Urban's other brands, Terrain and BHLDN. The strategy is to offer a social component to shoppers. Focus group tests showed that customers spent two hours to three hours in the new store format compared to the average hour-long stay in its current stores. Anthropologie execs not only expect the new format to increase in-store sales, but to also act as a showroom to help increase online sales as well.
Investing in bigger stores is a surprising move by Urban Inc., considering its self-imposed cap of 200-250 stores in North America. Even the CEO of Urban Inc., Richard Hayne, has repeatedly said "big is the enemy of cool," according to the Bloomberg report.
Anthropologies isn't the first brand — and won't be the last — to try to enhance the in-store shopping experience for consumers. This fall, Refinery 29 introduced a partnership with Simon Malls to include interactive experiences to drive in-store traffic.
What are your thoughts? Do you think "mini-malls" are the future of retail storefronts? Let us know in the comments section below.