Monday, September 9, 2013

urbn inc.

(images sourced: office snapshot)

Like most women around the world, I love to shop. Weaving in and out of the various walkways surrounded by products just itching to be owned by yours truly, I find the entire experience extremely entertaining. And similar to a plate of food, presentation is half the battle when it comes to retail stores, and that is where retail design comes into play.

Retail design is one of my favorites. Getting the opportunity to design a space that is purely designated to draw customers in and show off the products as best as possible, without overwhelming the consumers. It can be extremely tricky. But when it’s done right it can create an atmosphere where women and men crave to go, not only to purchase the essentials, but to escape their own world, if only for an hour or two.

Some of my favorite stores to frequent are those owned and executed by the company URBN Inc. Most are probably more familiar with the company’s numerous brands; Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain. And as you can see by the images above, the company’s retail design execution abilities start close to home, in their head quarters down at the Naval Yard in Philadelphia.

About a year ago I got the opportunity to not only see the main building- which houses their cafeteria, gym and main communal space- but also tour the numerous other buildings occupied by the various brands. Each building has its own unique style that directly reflected the brand that occupied it. This same separate yet communal way of working is transitioned seamlessly to the company’s numerous stores.

As most frequent URBN shoppers know, each of these stores can, easily, stands alone; with assorted seasonal window displays, products chosen to sell, and how they choose to present them. Yet as a whole all of the stores have such continuity in their branding and impeccable retail design that keeps the customers coming back time and time again. 

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