Anthropologie unveils new concept shop

Sean Davis / CC BY-ND 2.0

Anthropologie recently opened its 30,000 sq. ft. concept store in Walnut Creek, California, three-times the size of a typical brick-and-mortar location. The new concept shop is the next phase for the retailer in competing against department stores and includes a dedicated shoe salon and a beauty nook.

Other unique attributes of the store include 12 full-scale living spaces and a design center where shoppers can look through fabric swatches for customer furniture, wallpaper books and speak with a home stylist.

The company's sister brands, BHLDN, which focuses on weddings, and Terrain, which focuses on gardening, also have a major presence in the giant retail space. At the BHLDN shop-in-shop, brides can book a private appointment. And in Terrain, which has standalone stores in Westport, Connecticut, and Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, shoppers can find outdoor-lifestyle items.

A second concept shop location will open Nov. 18 in Palo Alto, California. In addition to pop-ins BHLDN and Terrain, the location will feature a restaurant from the Vetri Family, a dining group that was acquired by URBN in February.

Two other locations have been converted into Anthropologie & Co. and another will open in Pennsylvania this week. The company also announced last year that it will continue expansion into Europe and introduced a French version of its website.

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The chain is hoping to perfect what department stores emulate: destination retail that compels the customers to stay for long periods of time. Also, the larger store footprint allows Anthropologie to offer many more items outside of apparel in order to compete with other fashion brands and fast fashion players.

Going bigger isn't a new concept for URBN, which opened a 57,000 sq. ft. Urban Outfitters in New York's Herald Square in 2014, which included a beauty salon, a record store and a coffee shop.

RELATED: Urban Outfitters to open bigger stores

The company is also used to experimenting with new concept. Urban Outfitters opened Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn, New York, in 2014, a five-level store that includes a space for local designers, a restaurant and a bar.

RELATED: Urban Outfitters opens new concept store, Space Ninety 8