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Brief Published: 16 Apr 2014

Urban Outfitters’ Local Hybrid Store


US lifestyle brand Urban Outfitters has opened its latest store in the trendy Brooklyn district of Williamsburg. Called Space Ninety 8, the discreetly branded five-storey, 37,000 sq ft space is a hybridised retail venue that features emerging local brands, the work of neighbourhood artists and a restaurant in addition to the chain’s usual proposition.

According to John Hauser, Urban Outfitters’ chief officer of brand experience, the emphasis on discretion is to signal that the store, inspired by the success of Space 15 Twenty (the brand’s similar concept in LA) has additional features and a more localised approach than its other stores.

A key feature is the Market Space – a collection of three shop-in-shop product showcases. One is currently hosting Local Made, featuring 40 Brooklyn-based designers and makers. The second and third floors house the women’s and men’s lines. The latter contains a short staircase leading to The Gorbals – the New York outpost of the LA restaurant of the same name. A bar is due to open mid-April, with a restaurant following in early May. A roof deck delivers views of the Manhattan skyline.

A wide staircase ascends diagonally between the floors, and an open layout creates a space that will be used for a variety of special events, complemented by Gallery 98 – a basement art-gallery space for pop-up installations. Sportswear label Adidas Originals is the first to use the space in collaboration with local artist Jason Woodside, offering special collections such as World Cup designs.

For more on the value of local-centric retail destinations, see Specialise to Survive in our Future of the Store Industry Trend, Retailer-Restaurants, Hybrid Retailing, and our blog posts Dover Street Market, NY and Gap & Starbucks Localise Stores