A new treasure discovered… Anthropologie is now opened in Montreal

After a long delay and much anticipation Anthropologie is now opened on 2130 de la Montagne. The American retail chain founded in 1992 is knowned for its funky clothes and home decor.

The Montreal store is spectacular: three storeys of its retro-romantic clothes and home decor, presided over by a giant moose. Housed in a handsome historic greystone on de la Montagne St., the store has 6,500 square feet of selling space.

The floors are rough-hewn wood, and there are nooks and crannies everywhere with eclectic offerings.

Why is Anthropologie so successful ? Why are so many women so passionate about shopping at Anthropologie? Because Glen Senk and his colleagues aren’t just selling clothes and furnishings. They’re selling a sense of adventure and originality — and the promise of self-discovery. This retail chain puts a lot of effort into crafting a creative lush environment for its shoppers, inspiring them to extend that feeling into their own lives with their gorgeous wares and distinctive feminine fashions.

This is a successful case study in brand loyalty, starting the emotional connection right in the store, building a story right in the store, and involving your customer in that story. It is also a case study in truly knowing your customer, and the kind of life they live and aspire to.

What to expect:  Anthropologie in-house brands, as well as labels like AG for jeans and its Tracy Reese Made in Kind floral, flirty dresses. Among local offerings are Claire Desjardins’s accessories and paintings, La Raffinerie’s jewelry and Norwegian Wood accessories. Home decor, bedding, furniture, kitchen and lighting items are all part of the mix. Not to be forgotten: shoes, scarves and handbags.

Anthropologie style is unique.

Funky 2 prints sofas is the typical retro vintage style Anthropologie has to offer. This american retail chain is well-known trend-setter.

Anthropologie has attracted a cult following since its early days. Founded in 1992, it launched online sales in 1998, pioneering a do-it-yourself, individual style aesthetic. Combat boots and peasant skirts, chunky chokers, cookbooks and pottery draw a wide clientele to its stores and website.

Sophisticated Sell

Sidebar: Anthropologie 101

What follows is a cheat sheet of Anthropologie’s central disciplines and some of its tricks of the trade.

Your Fieldwork Never Ends If you really want to understand your customer, you have to spend a portion of your time excavating the creative edge of the culture that defines her. For Anthropologie president Glen Senk, that means lurking around upscale neighborhoods, looking for blue plastic New York Times delivery bags and calculating the ratio of Starbucks to convenience stores. For found-objects buyer Keith Johnson, that can mean four-to-eight-week treks across multiple continents in search of new sources of inspiration. “It’s important,” he says, “to go to the source: great museums, antique stores, cultural events, and farther afield. I will absolutely go down any alleyway that looks like it might lead to a discovery.”

Name Everything The Anthropologie merchandising mix is so dynamic, richly layered, and dense with references that it’s hard to keep it straight. In the buying department, each season’s collection is organized into three companywide categories (feminine, ethnic, and modern) that are then refined and named at the department level.

Don’t Forget Feedback “The Anthro Dig” is a weekly newsletter published on the intranet that features success stories, product highlights, $1,000-plus sales, PR of the week, celebrity shopping. Good Idea Sheets are one-sheet forms that any person can send to the home office. Sales associates send ideas about customer service, store experience, and product fit to the home office; Norris attaches a picture of the best execution of a merchandising concept or visual “story” and sends it around to every store’s visual team.

Get Personal Anthropologie’s designers and buyers constantly draw inspiration from far-flung sources. But sometimes the best ideas are closer to home.

Be Cheap Unbridled creativity and strict cost control are by no means mutually exclusive concepts. Anthropologie has always favored humble, recycled, and natural materials. Some of the store’s most striking visual effects have been crafted out of mundane materials.

Sidebar: Talk Like an Anthropologist

Retailers speak a highly technical language full of obscure terms and acronyms: “open to buy,” “receipt flow,” “SKU.” Anthropologie’s unique approach translates to its vocabulary. Explanations of three critical terms:

Happy Clothes When you boil it down, Anthropologie’s philosophy is, “Our customer wants happy clothes.” According to Wendy Wurtzburger, head merchant for women’s apparel and accessories, happy clothes are first and foremost colorful, pretty, and feminine. (A happy look for fall would be “colors that are unexpected for the season, like yellow and pink in a vintage-looking sweater.”) Sad clothes, by contrast, tend to come in darker colors and have sharp, edgy shapes. “We’ve learned to steer clear of sad clothing in sophisticated darker colors and strange new edgy shapes,” says Wurtzburger. “Our experience is that sad clothes end up on the markdown rack.”

Anthropologie is located on 2130 de la Montagne St.

http://www.anthropologie.com

Source:  The Montreal Gazette &The Fast Company

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