Thursday, May 12, 2011

Anthropologie Opens In Vancouver

This Friday, May 13, the sound of silence in offices will be deafening. That’s because every fashionista in your Metro Vancouver office will be charging to the long-awaited opening of the city’s first-ever Anthropologie.

Owned by and a sibling corporation to Urban Outfitters Inc., Anthropologie is a chain of upscale women’s wear dedicated to providing high-quality apparel to befit the customer’s lifestyle. The brand’s ideal customer is the professional urban woman with a creative, artistic bent. Therefore, the designs are based on classic forms that easily transition from day into evening wear. The collections are vivid in terms of colour and prints, and recall 70s glamour with a romantic finish. Think Bianca Jagger heading to meet Anna Wintour for lunch rather than going to Studio 54 and you’ll have an idea of the collection. Understanding that their customer wants to look chic without breaking the bank, Anthropologie’s collections are priced lower than their couture counterparts.

Anthropologie does not stop at women’s wear, as they also offer home fashions as part of their “complete lifestyle” approach to retail. The new location, like most of their other shops across the world, will also carry accents to any home such as bedding, curtains, wallpaper, pillows and lighting. To complete the styling of any home, they also offer their own line of kitchenware, dinnerware and glassware. It is designed to be a one-stop shopping experience. Anthropologie achieves this by creating themed spaces within their shops to harmonize their product lines into a complete lifestyle, and not as a disparate diaspora of merchandise. Anyone who has been to an Anthropologie shop understands that each location is a feast for the senses.

One of the philosophies behind the brand is the same as the one that has turned the Old Navy / Gap / Banana Republic triumvirate into a retail powerhouse: to transition its buyers into the next phase of their lives as they mature, while still fostering brand loyalty. The strategy appears to have paid off, as the brand generated $142.2 million in revenue last year, or about half of its parent company’s total revenue per annum. Given how much more prolific Urban Outfitters shops are, this indicates that rather affluent buyers and the fashion-forward have indeed been loyal to the brand. Additionally, despite the economic downturn, its generated revenue is estimated at $750 per square foot, one of the highest in the fashion industry.

Located in the fashionable and upscale South Granville area, Anthropologie’s Vanocuver shop will have 7,000 square feet of retail space. They will count amongst their neighbours other high-end retailers such as Bellissima and Boboli, which carry top designers such as Issey Miyake and Etro. They will be in good company and given the success of Anthropologie in other Canadian markets, Vancouver’s shop should become a mainstay of the South Granville strip.

Anthropologie’s opening is preceded by a soft marketing campaign and word-of-mouth advertising. Although the opening date and location were well-known for some time, the announcement of the grand opening itself has been very quiet. One lucky blogger reports that she received an invitation to the invite-only soft opening set for Thursday, May 12 on her blog. You can find out more about a local blogger writing on Anthropologie online.
You can find out more on the Anthropologie grand opening on the shop’s Facebook event page. They are located at 2912 Granville Street, Shop hours will be from 10 am to 8 pm Mondays through Thursdays, 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays. Anthropologie opens to the public on Friday, May 13, 2011.