Urban Outfitters’ sister brand Anthropologie is reported to be close to signing its first UK store in the former Wedgwood shop on London’s Regent Street.
Retail Week revealed last month that the US fashion and homewares retailer was hunting for sites on the street to unveil its debut shop, but at the time was also considering Bond Street as a possible target for its first site (September 5).
It has now emerged that it has been in talks with landlord Crown Estates and is moving closer to signing a lease.
Given the time taken to fit out it is likely to be a year before a store is trading, but it is understood Anthropologie will only sign a short lease because Crown Estates plans future refurbishment works on the block that the store, at 158 Regent Street, is located in.
Wedgwood closed its store in July because of poor trading. The retailer’s parent company Waterford Wedgwood is owned by Irish entrepreneur Sir Anthony O’Reilly and his brother-in-law Peter Goulandris, who have embarked on a programme of cost cutting in the face of significant losses.
Anthropologie will enter the fray with competitor US brands in London, including Banana Republic, which opened on Regent Street in March, and Abercrombie & Fitch, which rolled out its first UK store on Savile Row in March last year and whose sister brand Hollister makes its debut at Westfield London next week.
Since it was set up in 1992 Anthropologie has grown to a portfolio of 115 stores in the US and a mail order business that sells to 34 countries globally.
It has been gearing up for its UK launch with the appointment of James Bidwell as managing director for its fledgling European business. Bidwell, who was formerly marketing director of Selfridges, joins from tourism agency Visit London and will start with Anthropologie in the new year.