In the age where many companies are looking to go online rather than have physical stores, clothing and home retailer Anthropologie stands out from the crowd. The company stays focused on its retail setting that attracts masses of shoppers.
Walking into an Anthropologie store is a whole new experience for the average shopper, and it starts at the windows. Anthropologie’s windows quickly catch the eye on the high street due to their organic, creative and colourful displays year-round. Often featuring plants and flowers, the displays give passers-by a glimpse of what to expect when they step through the door.
The window displays are handmade by employees and local artists, and installation consists of a dozen or so people over a period of a few days. The windows can take up to a week to create, and the budget always falls under 5000 pounds or dollars. Wood and similar materials can be reused, though paint, sequins and ribbons are bought new. Though buying props such as birds would be easier, the handcrafted style is part of the brand, and the organic, feminine feeling created by the windows can be seen throughout the whole store.
Shopping at Anthropologie is a unique retail experience. The dreamy, calming music, mood lighting and handcrafted art pieces on display, mixed in with the bohemian style clothing create a very homely feeling. This is also the point, as every aspect of Anthropologie’s stores has been designed specifically. Though other companies are perfecting their e-commerce, Anthropologie is focused on making its interior store displays and retail space a great place to attract dedicated shoppers.
The brand started in 1992, as a branch on Urban Outfitters, another company that has a different shopping experience when you walk through the doors. Anthropologie now has over 200 stores in North America and the UK, catering to “sophisticated and contemporary women aged 28 to 45”, who have a readily disposable income.
What makes Anthropologie are the store designs, which are based on comfort and inclusivity. Creative director of the brand Missy Peltz says they consistently aim for an “eclectic, rustic, modern” feel, and focus on the physical details of the store so much is so they can create a fantasy universe for shoppers.
Incense and scented candles are sometimes burned before the stores open, and the merchandise is playfully displayed in a variety of places, from the racks to tables and quirky shelving units. This ramshackle style store design is done so people browsing can visualise themselves wearing and using the various products, interacting with items and exploring the store in a way that many brands typically try to discourage.
The Anthropologie stores have nooks and crannies where customers can be left alone to examine the products on display without distraction, and they also have a strategy for the furniture. Everything is aligned at 35 to 40-degree angles to create symmetry for the shoppers. This creates fluidity and makes it easier for shoppers to visualise the products being in their homes.
The many quirks of Anthropologie have made it a fascinating brand, and we are always interested to see what designs they create for their windows.