Anthropologie is opening an accessories-only store Oct. 29 in Chevy Chase, Md., the first of several new retail concepts it will roll out.
Glen Senk, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters Inc., Anthropologie’s parent, has said the company was close to finding a location for Leifsdottir in Manhattan and revealed the brand will open its first wedding store “somewhere like Texas, Nashville or Chicago.”
The 1,400-square-foot accessories-only store at 5402 Wisconsin Ave. will have the largest selection of shoes, handbags, scarves, belts, costume jewelry, fine jewelry and, for the first time, estate and antique jewelry, including one-of-a-kind brooches and engagement rings. There will also be handcrafted one-off pieces and reworked vintage styles.
The store shares the eclectic Anthropologie aesthetic. The gallerylike space has a custom concrete tile floor arranged in a herringbone pattern, a plastered gallery space with a low ceiling and a fumed oak floor. An entire wall is a collage of reclaimed doors, pieced together and covered in white enamel. A 20-foot-long French cabinet anchors the back wall.
The store’s initial assortment will include shoes by designers Rachel Comey, Chie Mihara and Bourne, among others. Accessories were designed by Marion Vidal, Eugenia Kim, Ikou Tschuss and Leslie Oschmann.
The merchandise mix leans heavily toward shoes, with the category accounting for more than 50 percent of overall product. “Our customer is always in search of truly special shoes,” said Wendy Wurtzburger, co-president and chief merchandising officer of Anthropologie. “She is driven by her personal taste and appreciation for design.” Prices for most shoe styles fall between $150 and $350, “but we have gone a little higher for a few irresistible styles. We’ll have shoe designs we haven’t shown before, handtooled vintage handbags and antique jewelry we haven’t carried before.”
Estate and antique jewelry will be supplied by Doyle & Doyle and Garland Collects. Prices for the fine and estate and vintage jewelry won’t exceed $1,000, Wurtzburger said, but added, “If we find something we can’t resist, we’ll bring it to our customer [regardless] of price.”
The accessories-only store is around the corner from an existing Anthropologie unit. While Wurtzburger said the synergies are obvious, “accessories-only can work when it’s next to an Anthropologie or in a separate location. We’re going to try street and mall locations. It will work in many venues.”
Larger Anthropologie stores, where accessories can get lost, may incorporate merchandising techniques from the accessories-only units, which are seen as a lab.
There’s just one small detail left unfinished. “It doesn’t have a name yet,” Wurtzburger said of the store. “It will say Anthropologie on the door. The display and branding will make it feel like Anthropologie, but a unique Anthropologie.”
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