All photos courtesy of Urban Outfitters, Inc.
Over the past year, the King of Prussia Mall has undergone a major expansion, from the connecting space to the expanded dining and shopping scenes. Among the retailers joining the expansion are Anthropologie & Co. and Pizzeria Vetri, which open on Oct. 14. Both brands are part of Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters, Inc., which also owns Urban Outfitters, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain.
The two new stores join two other Urban Outfitters, Inc. brands—Urban Outfitters and Free People—at the King of Prussia Mall, but the clustering was unintentional and more a product of serendipity, according to Oona McCullough, Director of Investor Relations for Urban Outfitters, Inc. “It just happens to be a unique opportunity that came to us in our backyard with our local customer,” she says.
This is the fourth Anthropologie & Co. to open in the United States and the first on the East Coast. Anthropologie & Co. is an expansion on the traditional Anthropologie stores in that it fully embraces the lifestyle aspect, including a wide array of furnishings and décor. The 20,000 square foot space features 11 “fully realized rooms,” says Sara Goodstein, Director of Public Relations for Anthropologie. The rooms range from living rooms to dining rooms to bedrooms. A home stylist is also on hand to help shoppers, plus there is a design center, which has wallpaper samples and fabric swatches for further customization.
Furniture and home décor certainly isn’t new for Anthropologie, but the showcasing on a large scale is. “It’s a response to our customer—we’re really tuned into what she wants,” Goodstein says, noting that they’ve been working for several years to bring this to fruition. “We have always known that [our customer] loves our home assortment, but we also know she looks to us in terms of a curator for her lifestyle,” adds McCullough. “Prior to opening the large format store, we actually renovated a building here at the [Navy] Yard.” They brought in a test group of their top customers who responded positively, she says.
The new Anthropologie & Co. is located on the second floor of the mall and also features expanded selections of intimates, apparel and accessories, a beauty boutique with over 800 products, and a brand new shoe and bag salon. “It has been wildly popular in our other stores,” Goodstein says of the shoes and bags. Shoppers can expect to find over 50 brands and 300 styles.
In addition to furniture, Anthropologie & Co. features the work of local artists, having made a conscious effort to source locally for each of its locations, so they vary across regions. Among the artists and works at the King of Prussia store are Carla Weeks’ custom table linens, Felt + Fat’s dinner and serving ware, Karen Tinney’s accessories, and Lauren Walcott’s hand-painted pillows and prints.
Joining Anthropologie & Co. on the second floor is Free People and Pizzeria Vetri, as well as half of Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters has been a staple at the mall for years, but reopens with a somewhat new look in its original space. The two-story store now offers expanded selections of music, tech, and home décor, plus its clothing lines. Together, the cluster of Urban Outfitters, Inc. brands take up about 60,000 square feet.
While the stores are not physically connected, there is a sense of shared space. “We were able to activate the common area space, basically the hallway, and that will be a bar/lounge area between all the stores,” says McCullough. Pizzeria Vetri will also make use of that space for diners, though its restaurant space is situated next to Urban Outfitters.
When Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced the purchase of Philadelphia-based Pizzeria Vetri late last year, it came as a surprise to many consumers, but it wasn’t the company’s first venture into the culinary world. Two Terrain locations, including one in Glen Mills, have a restaurant, there is a café at the Urban Outfitters in Herald Square in New York City, and the Navy Yard also has a restaurant.
The highly anticipated venture won’t be standard of what to expect at other Anthropologie & Co. locations, though. “It’s not about bringing food into the shopping experience,” says McCullough. “There may be opportunities for adjacencies like this one, but that is really not the growth strategy.”
Whatever its strategy, Urban Outfitters, Inc. has unquestionably made its mark on the King of Prussia Mall.