Urban Outfitters’ blueprint for a hyperlocal experience
The bigger the retail organisation, the smaller the power of innovation and the greater the mental distance to consumers and their local environment. But not if it’s up to Urban Outfitters, who for years have been active on the local scene with their UO Spaces and, with the current retails trends, are more relevant and inspiring than ever before.
Their American UO Spaces (Space Ninety 8 in New York, Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles and Space 24 Twenty in Austin – each “Space” named after its own street number) are “a shared centre for retail, local pop-up marketplaces, live music, events and dining” as well as “a space for bringing together artists, creatives, musicians and designers”, “curated for the community”.
Urban Outfitters facilitates the property (which of course includes an Urban Outfitters store) and, wherever possible, enters into (temporary) partnerships with large as well as small brands for pop-up exhibitions (not unlike the acclaimed Story Pop-Up concept), restaurant owners, local designers and multidisciplinary artists, from yoga teachers to life coaches. The aim, in short, is setting up a local creative breeding ground from various influences and disciplines, in which different business models criss-cross one another.
You can cross off an entire buzzword dictionary: a hyperlocal initiative that is continuously evolving (or: “permanently temporary”), whereby community building is at the centre, blurring until a higher goal is achieved, with an experience economy that is truly lush and all this under the pretext of Urban Outfitters’ ‘glocalisation’.
Or, as Urban Outfitters’ Creative Director Stephen Briars puts it:
“By creating a community feeling through extra additions like a library or café, not only are we promoting our lifestyle, but we are also creating a new retail environment for customers to discover and enjoy”.