Coming off the heels of its 30th anniversary, Anthropologie has no plans to slow down.
Anthropologie celebrated its 30th anniversary in late September and, in step, produced an interactive installation at the New York Academy of Art called “By Hand, By Heart.” The installation, which ran from Oct. 1-2, showcased the brand’s rich history and decades’ worth of eye-catching storefront art. The company also published its first coffee table book with Rizzoli, titled “Art of Anthropologie,” which celebrates Anthropologie’s roots and creative accomplishments.
At the helm of the heritage brand is Tricia Smith, who took on the role of global CEO in April 2021. From a very young age, Smith knew she was passionate about retail and serving customers. Though Anthropologie’s reputation for keeping the customer front and center was one of the biggest draws for Smith, it was an unforgettable experience while visiting Anthropologie’s Soho, NY location over 20 years ago that piqued her interest in the brand.
“I remember the way the store made me feel. I distinctly remember that it was the first time that I, as a young woman, felt inspired by a retail experience,” Smith shared on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “It was the thoughtfulness of the curation of products, from apparel to candles and home accessories, all celebrated with these amazing and incredible visual installations. It inspired this sense of discovery in me that Anthropologie was the first to create.”
Since assuming the role as global CEO, Smith’s biggest goal has been to invoke that same feeling of inspiration and creativity in customers.
“When the opportunity was presented to me to join as the CEO, yes, it was exciting. But it was a bit of a pinch-me moment,” Smith added.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
“The role of digital for [Anthropologie] has increasingly become where our customer engages with us, in addition to our stores. Organic and paid social have become our most efficient ways to reach our customers, along with digital media, redefining how we acquire new customers. … We’re working to strike the right balance between how we leverage brand and content creators across those channels, which enables our commitment to show greater diversity of content that we know our customer loves. … We’re reviewing some pretty great initial results as our team is thinking about truly hyper-targeted campaigns that are geared toward a new, younger generation of customers. … We’re feeling good about complementing this store experience and sense of discovery that our brand was founded on and making investments in not only reaching our customers digitally, but also digitally enabling that store experience.”
The road ahead
“It will continue to be important for [Anthroplogie] to make investments toward creating a new sense of discovery for the next generation of Anthropologie customers. That’s our guiding light, but also, [we’re] really delivering on our purpose-driven values around creativity and community and committing ourselves to our internal community and teams that work tirelessly every day to take care of our customers. … My goal is to make sure that our community is such that it’s a good place to work, that people are collaborative, that they’re able to fulfill what they want to do and they’re able to bring their most creative, genuine and authentic selves to work. And [we want to ensure] they can do that in the pursuit of us being curious and thinking about what the next generation needs … and the expectations that [modern] customers might have that are different than what they were for the last 30 years. When we think about our values, it was important for us to stay focused on the importance of curiosity. … Staying true to who we are is really what our team is focused on right now.”