All of your favorite stores are combining into one!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Everything we love in one place.

A few quarters ago on their quarterly earnings call, Urban Outfitters Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Hayne announced that the company (which is parent to Anthropologie, Free People and eponymous UO) had purchased restaurant chain Pizzeria Vetri. At the time, analysts and journalists were scratching their heads but I said to myself (and you!): Aha, I know where this going...





And now the world knows too. Philadelphia Magazine has a story about a new huge cluster store under construction in the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania which will house an Urban Outfitters, a Free People, and Anthropologie and yummy pizza too.

From the article:
"The current setup at KOP has Urban and Free People separated by multiple stores within the mega-mall, but new construction will place Free People and Anthro directly across from Urban’s current location. And guess what? It’s going to be huge—as in 40,000 square feet huge—and we’re just talking about Free People and Anthropologie’s space. Urban Outfitters, currently occupying 14,000 square feet, plans to increase its footprint by 6,000 additional square feet, knocking down a wall to make space for Pizzeria Vetri.

An Urban executive told Philly.com he sees the pizza shop as a space that "enables us to activate the common area between the store locations…so customers can gather in an environment that has our aesthetic.""


I am pretty sure this means we can expect Voluspa diffusers and Capri Blue volcano candles burning around the pizza joint, right? I kid because I love Anthropologie.

In all honesty, this makes me want to road trip to King of Prussia! The mall is less than an hour from Philadelphia and about 2 hours' drive from NYC. I like all three of these stores, though Urban Outfitters mostly skews too young and way too short for me.

This cluster of stores with restaurant is expected to open in October of 2016. This idea totally makes sense to me and is a good way for Anthro's parent company to test and see how well these brands might do in their own 'cluster' of stores, perhaps someday to live outside of a mall footprint.

In NYC these food-shopping crossovers are becoming ever more common. It seems to have grown out of the Barnes & Noble + coffee shop idea -- which came from indie bookstores first. Soon coffee shops and dinner places were showing up in grocery stores and places like Target; now everyone from the Urban Outfitters at 14th St & 6th Ave to the 5th Ave Club Monaco in Flatiron have coffee shops, bookstores, cookie bakers, all kinds of things really in these stores inside a store.

Urban Outfitters is clearly hoping to become an all-day shopping destination of sorts. What do you think of this idea?

Thanks to Stefanie for posting about this article!

Further reading:
Urban Outfitters Is Making Big Moves at the King of Prussia Mall -- Philadelphia Magazine