Urban Outfitters is primarily known as a ‘hipster’ shop. With a wide range of clothing and lingerie, it has several target audiences, ranging from young teens up to mid-30’s. The store itself uses several different display methods, always utilising furniture of a ‘vintage’ style persuasion. This is definitely an appealing aspect of shopping at Urban Outfitters for their target audience, who don’t want to shop in department stores or less elegantly presented high street shops like Primark, New Look and H&M.
Urban Outfitters are deliberately selling an aspirational lifestyle. With a new store having opened in Leicester, I visited and noticed that they aim for their shop floors to have a similar style to Topshop in the sense of marketing themselves as being a high end shop, without producing high end stock, this gives the illusion of quality, whilst making a huge profit.
‘The Urban [Outfitters] customer, we always talk about, is the upscale homeless person, who has a slight degree of angst and is probably in the life stage of 18 to 26,’ revealed Hayne, adding, ‘The Urban customer is really dressing to attract a mate.’ [Fig2]
This quote from CEO Richard Hayne demonstrates the company’s apparent distain for the Urban Outfitters customer.
Urban Outfitters doesn’t advertise on television, so relies on word of mouth and the attraction of the store fronts to bring in customers. They use bold, graphic prints and colours on their promotional material (such as bags and store information cards), which are eye-catching and demand attention.
The price point can vary intensely, but, like Topshop, they offer promotions on items, such as 3 knickers for £15. This means that despite many items being overpriced, Urban Outfitters ensure that they keep specific, in-the-limelight items on offer to exercise psychological advertising – tricking customers into believing the garments are on a good offer when they had been priced up just to be put on offer to generate revenue.
Fig 1. – Piper, Ffion (2014) Urban Outfitters [Photograph]
Fig 2. – Urban Outfitters CEO describes customers as ‘upscale homeless’. 2014.Urban Outfitters CEO describes customers as ‘upscale homeless’. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1180044/Urban-Outfitters-describes-customers-upscale-homeless/. [Accessed 11 December 2014].
Fig 3 & 4. – Urban Outfitters. 2014. Urban Outfitters. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/uk/index.jsp. [Accessed 10 December 2014].