Urban Outfitters asks to sell booze
The decidedly suburban mall clothing chain needs a bar in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood more than the locals need it, however.
Disgruntled teen clothier Urban Outfitters (URBN) -- which was last seen halting sales of drug-themed items after receiving complaints from just about every parenting, alcohol treatment and controlled-substances group with a spokesperson and some boilerplate outrage -- is now making noise about opening a bar in one of its shops.
That bar, which is being proposed for a yet-to-open location in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, according to the New York Daily News, is doing little to help the retailer's cause.
The problem isn't that Urban Outfitters usually caters to a far younger demographic than the post-collegians it's targeting in Williamsburg. It's that the oversize T-shirt and novelty shop seems to believe that the only way to get area hipsters to shop there is to pour them bad drinks in the youth-based retail apparel equivalent of a Kmart snack bar. In Williamsburg, however, the outrage is tempered by a heavy dose of local sarcasm.
"I can't think of a circumstance for which it would be appropriate for Urban Outfitters to have a liquor license," City Councilman Stephen Levin, D-Greenpoint, said in a statement. "We must ask ourselves, 'Do we really want people drunk when they are buying their skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts?'"
In Williamsburg, this isn't stunning anyone. The current inflow of young residents has been going strong for more than a decade, with only net worth and strollers separating the newest arrivals from the old. The neighborhood is considering 37 new liquor license applications and is renewing more than 100 others. In a place that typically prefers its watering holes locally grown, Urban Outfitters likely isn't angling to be anyone's new regular stop.
It just wants the cachet. Already a shop where high-school kids buy clothes that look like those worn by their thrift-store-frequenting older brothers and sisters, Urban Outfitters benefits by simply existing in Williamsburg. The idea is that by planting a store there, it gives off the vibe that locals might shop there and hang out in its bar.
Whether that translates into any real-world credibility remains to be seen, but a store that flourishes in the suburbs and exurbs of the country by selling what it deems the "urban" experience needs some big city experience beyond the local mall.
Maybe they figure people will be more likely to buy their crap if they are drunk.
Oh.... the stuff I have bought on Amazon after a night of bar hopping....
I guess they figure drunk people will buy their waaaaaaaaay overpriced wares.
The drinks will be overpriced as well LOL.
"We must ask ourselves, 'Do we really want people drunk when they are buying their skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts?'"
Say whaa? Although the idea of a bar in UO is patently ridiculous, what's his beef with buying jeans and tees while tipsy? Is buying the wrong size or brand somehow going to cause illegal public unmatchiness?
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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