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Anthropologie to Launch International Site

Anthropologie is ready to reach a global audience with the launch on Saturday of its first international Web site.

LONDON — Anthropologie is ready to reach a global audience with the launch on Saturday of its first international Web site.

This story first appeared in the March 19, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new site, anthropologie.co.uk, will be priced in a variety of currencies, including euros, pounds and Swiss francs, and will deliver internationally from a U.K. warehouse.

James Bidwell, Anthropologie’s managing director for Europe, said the site would have the same product assortment as the company’s London stores, the second of which opened Friday on The King’s Road.

He said the site offered an opportunity to gauge the interest of the international market in Anthropologie. Depending on the response, he said, foreign language versions of the site may be launched.

Bidwell added that an Anthropologie mobile phone application was also in the pipeline so international customers could shop from the road. Bidwell said the launch of the site is a major step toward positioning Anthropologie as a “global, customer-focused, channel-neutral brand.”

Meanwhile, the firm’s second London store is a 10,000-square-foot unit in the former Antiquarius Antiques market in the heart of Chelsea. In an even earlier life, much of the space served as a billiard hall, and the Anthropologie team restored the original stained glass windows and pitched ceilings, with their soaring metal arches.

The store, which spans one floor, has poured concrete floors, exposed pipework and a roof made of reclaimed wood.

Anthropologie’s signature riot of fabrics, fashion and theatrical backdrops — including a giant wicker camel piled high with homewares, a Bali-inspired kitchen zone with parrot prints galore, a garden filled with evergreen plants and a wire baobab tree from South Africa — are all packed into the vast, sunny space.

Anthropologie’s first European store opened on London’s tourist-heavy Regent Street in October, and it is roughly the same size as the new one. Bidwell refers to the King’s Road unit as the “spiritual home from home” of the brand because of its upscale, residential location and accent on home products.

The new store also features a 200-square-foot art gallery that will host shows by European designers and artists every six to eight weeks. The first show is by the Swedish design label In Every Tree, and features porcelain objects including stacks of books, hanging leaves and phonographs.