Belfast Telegraph

Anthropologie eyes first NI store in Belfast

NI fit-out firm McCue has worked with Anthropologie since 2013 to develop its store interiors
NI fit-out firm McCue has worked with Anthropologie since 2013 to develop its store interiors
The interior of one of Anthropologie’s UK stores
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

US clothing retailer Anthropologie looks set to open its first store in Northern Ireland.

The upmarket fashion and homeware chain has launched a recruitment drive for new staff in Belfast. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Anthropologie is part of the URBN group, which already runs NI's only Urban Outfitters store from Victoria Square.

Anthropologie currently has 229 stores, most of them in North America. It opened its first international store in London in 2009 and has since expanded with another 10 UK outlets.

It's understood that the chain has expressed interest in opening a Belfast store for a number of years. NI firm McCue has carried out the fit-out work for Anthropologie's UK stores since 2013. But it's understood that the company is not actively working on a Belfast store for the chain.

Anthropologie appears to have taken one step further by advertising for a new team in Northern Ireland.

Under a heading 'new store opening', the retailer is seeking a store manager, assistant store manager, team leader, visual merchandising manager and sales associates in Belfast.

It's unclear where the new outlet will be based.

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The URBN group already operates from a large Urban Outfitters unit at the Victoria Square shopping complex.

The recent completion of Erskine House on Arthur Street has added another 8,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space to the up market Arthur Street.

It's understood that the three units have the option of being expanded into one larger unit.

However real estate agents Savills said yesterday that, while interest had been expressed by a series of potential occupiers, none had yet signed on the dotted line.

Anthropologie could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Founded in Pennsylvania in 1992, the retailer has built a reputation for a curated mix of clothing, accessories, gifts and home decor. Its parent company URBN is due to announce its first quarter results today.

Revenues are expected to be up once again, with some analysts predicting earnings of around $857m (£673m). URBN reported total revenues of $4bn (£3.1bn) in the 2018 financial year.

The latest results released by the group revealed that Anthropologie generated revenues of $1.6bn (£1.3bn) for the year to January 31, 2019, up 8% year-on-year.

Belfast Telegraph