Glen Senk has resigned as CEO at Urban Outfitter’s and is headed to another job TBD. The retailer is well-respected for taking creative risks with their merchandising at their core formats: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People. As a retail junkie, I have enjoyed seeing a brand like Anthropologie dare to stand for something unique in their stores and online. I am always blown away by their creative OMG visual merchandising, that is second to none! They had decent same store sales in 2008 and 2009.
They are struggling a bit lately and this is no surprise as their Anthropologie stores have become more of a drab fashion graveyard, than exciting fashion leader. It is like wandering in a museum gift shop or Middle Eastern bazaar.
I find myself hard pressed to fall in love with anything in their stores besides soap and towels. It is hard to shop if you are seriously looking for clothes and the styling is challenging for unsophisticated shoppers. I think their frumpy, hipster rags are contra to the macro trends toward clean, modern, sexy fashion. After checking out the over-the-top windows, I get out into the light as fast as possible.
A bright spot (pardon the pun) for me is Free People. Their stores are smaller and brighter. They were chock-full of ageless, feminine items and newsy, comfy sweaters this fall!