OPERATIONS

Urban Outfitters opens 57,000-sq.-ft “lifestyle” destination store in Manhattan

BY Marianne Wilson

Philadelphia — Urban Outfitters has opened a “lifestyle center” store, in Manhattan’s Herald Square neighborhood. The 57,000-sq.ft. store is the brand’s largest location to date, and its13th store in New York City. It includes such extras as a hair salon, bookshop, coffee bar and photography shop that lets shoppers print their photos from Instagram.

“The opportunity of Herald Square presented itself and we were excited to see what we could do with it," says John Hauser, Urban Outfitters chief officer of brand experience. "Having all of that space really allows us to expand on product concepts such as activewear, music, vintage, beauty, shoes, books and more."

The multi-level shop featured an expanded beauty department with custom-designed beauty fixtures to house over 45 national and international brands. There is also a large women’s shoe boutique, a 3,000-sq.-ft. fitness apparel and merchandise department, and an Urban Renewal Vintage shop dedicated to vintage and remade goods for men and women. In other features, Pennsylvania-based collectables brand Three Potato Four has curated an exclusive shop featuring feature NYC-related souvenirs.

Extending beyond the traditional Urban Outfitters format, the Herald Square location hosts several independently owned and operated companies. Los Angeles-based Hairroin Salon occupies a portion of the first floor, offering everything from cut, color and extensions, and serves men and women of all hair types.

“Hairroin Salon and Urban Outfitters have been co-located in Los Angeles for years now with great success, and our new venture in Manhattan really takes things to the next level,” said Janine Jarman, owner of Hairroin Salon. “I think customers will really be attracted to the ‘destination’ feel of the new Herald Square center. Working with Urban Outfitters, we’re able to be part of an exciting new concept in beauty, and I hope we can partner on more salons with them in the future!”

Also hailing from Los Angeles is the legendary Amoeba Records, which has stocked a curated assortment of over 400 vintage vinyl titles that can only be found in Urban Outfitters Herald Square. Eyewear company Tortoise & Blonde, who opened a shop-in-shop last year in Urban Outfitters’ Soho location, also has space in Herald Square. The company will provide customers with the latest fashions in prescription eyewear, including an exclusive sunglass collection with Urban Outfitters slated to launch in June.

The coffee bar, Intelligentsia Coffee, has a 900-sq.-ft. space on the ground level of the store, with its own entrance.

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FINANCE

Sycamore Partners to relaunch Coldwater Creek brand as independent company

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sycamore Partners announced Monday that it bought the going-out-of-business Coldwater Creek brand and other intellectual property through an affiliate company during the apparel chain’s bankruptcy proceedings. The private equity firm said it plans to re-launch Coldwater Creek as an independent portfolio company, but it did not give a timeline for the launch.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

"Coldwater Creek is an outstanding brand with a 30-year heritage and strong support from its loyal base of longtime customers," said Peter Morrow, a managing director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited about adding Coldwater Creek to our growing portfolio of leading retail brands and look forward to reintroducing the brand to the marketplace."

Sycamore’s investment portfolio currently includes Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Jones New York, the Kasper Group, Kurt Geiger, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings, Pathlight Capital, Stuart Weitzman and Talbots.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Three in four retailers plan to identify customers in-store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — Three in four (75%) retailers can or intend to identify customers when they walk in the store, including 3% who already do so and 72% who are planning to do so within five years. According to the new 2014 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey of top North American retailers from Boston Retail Partners, 95% of respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives.

The survey found that with the importance of multiple key marketing initiatives to achieve a seamless shopping experience, retailers need to examine ways to improve the unification of marketing and IT to successfully implement these projects. Many larger retailers have developed a role in the organization that helps bridge this gap, a senior-level role responsible for working with IT to develop a marketing technology strategy and evaluate and implement the technology.
Other key results include:

  • 16% of retailers currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store) and another 63% plan to implement within five years.
  • 28% of retailers currently use mobile marketing and another 62% plan to implement this within five years (56% plan to implement mobile marketing within two years).
  • 81% of retailers have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform.
  • 22% of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61% plan to implement it within two years.

“To deliver the seamless experience, retailers need to gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data in real-time,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Leveraging technology, Unified Commerce provides the platform and real-time retail is key to delivering the experience. Retailers that successfully deliver Unified Commerce will understand and adopt a ‘unified’ approach for: strategic customer initiatives, technology, business processes and execution.”

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