LONDON — Urban Outfitters has planted its flag on Oxford Street.
The 15,000-square-foot store, which cost about 2.4 million pounds, or $4.3 million, opened late last month and is ready to rumble with British retail powerhouses ranging from Topshop to Selfridges, all of which are nearby.
“Here, customers are not buying on price, they’re buying because we offer something different and we’re creating an experience,” said Martin Parker, managing director of Urban Outfitters U.K., during a walkthrough. “A lot of stores in London carry similar product. We’re about offering a lot of choice. We are not a mass design store.”
The store, which spans three levels, is expected to generate in excess of 10 million pounds, or $18 million, in sales during the first year, according to industry sources here. It offers a wide range of price points, with a Levi’s Red jean skirt costing 150 pounds, or $269, and an in-house label corduroy flared skirt costing 40 pounds, or $72.
All figures are converted from the pound at current exchange.
The store design is a major departure from Urban Outfitters’ raw-edged, industrial-inspired units in Covent Garden and Kensington High Street. On Oxford Street, the lights are brighter and the steel fittings are galvanized so they have a shinier finish. There’s a wide wood and glass staircase that winds its way through all three levels of the store and it’s capped by a skylight.
Even the exposed brickwork, a hallmark of Urban Outfitters stores, has been kept to a minimum and the ceiling beams and pipes have been given a coat of white paint. The floors are covered in honey-colored matte wood while the walls are butterscotch colored.
“We wanted it like a New York loft — brighter, cleaner and not quite as aggressive as the other stores,” said Parker, adding the interiors were designed by the Philadelphia-based Otto Design Group and the London-based designer Nick McMahon.
On the ground floor, vintage Louis chairs painted electric orange and covered in green tapestry fabric jostle for space with Frye boots, Lee Jeans and novelty gift items, including George Bush animated dolls, birthday bingo games and Dr. Seuss notebooks. The first floor showcases women’s wear with brands such as See by Chloé, Patrizia Pepe, Vanessa Bruno, FrostFrench, Sonia Rykiel and Buddhist Punk.
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