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Anthropologie Places Emphasis on Local with New Debut

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In addition to stocking indie labels like Some Odd Rubies and Geminola at the new Chelsea Market outpost. Anthropologie plans to focus on neighborhoods in its continued expansion. (Oh, and they, too, might be thinking Brooklyn.)

WWD got an advance peek at the new location, which sometimes places emphasis on its New York-ness with topiaries of local landmarks like the Chrysler building, a watertower, and the nearby High Line. As Wendy Wurtzburger, co-president and chief merchandising officer of Anthropologie, related to WWD, the plan is for the chain to start becoming "your local Anthropologie," differentiating each outpost from other locations like Rockefeller Center or Soho.

From the sounds of it, Anthropologie has plans for quite a bit more expansion here in New York. As Wurtzburger put it, "There’s a lot of business to be done in New York. There’s opportunity on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. We still think there’s opportunity in the five boroughs, especially in Brooklyn. There are a lot of great neighborhoods and we’re not just one look.” An Anthropologie in Brooklyn does seem like a pretty good fit -- especially now that big brands like Barneys are making the jump. Wurtzburger did not, however, comment on reports that the chain might be opening another location on Third Avenue near 66th Street.

While the idea of localization seems like a keen, executable idea for a big chain in New York, some of the "neighborhood" elements seem to ring off-key: While having the High Line represented in the store feels hyper-local, for example, the Chrysler building is one to two neighborhoods over. Similarly, while it's thrilling that the store is bringing lesser-known labels like SOR and Geminola onto a larger scale, Geminola at least is a West Village boutique -- SOR's Lower East Side location feels "downtown" but maybe not "west." (WWD also put the store in NoLiTa, which seems off -- it's on Ludlow Street.) Call us nitpicky, but if one is going to really get into the neighborhood game in a city as fiercely devoted to its individualist 'hoods as New York, one should really be comprehensive in the approach.

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