Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters Inc has completed a lengthy search to fill the top slot at its Anthropologie brand by dividing the role between two senior executives.

The company said yesterday (20 August) that Wendy Wurtzburger and Wendy Brown will lead the brand in the newly created roles of chief merchandising officer and chief operating officer.

With immediate effect, Wurtzburger will be responsible for leading merchandise design, buying, planning and allocation plus brand finance.

Brown, meanwhile, will drive the company's front end operations including store management, real estate, store design and visual merchandising along with all direct-to-consumer operations including brand-wide marketing and 'Anthro', the brand's new customer relationship programme.

"After a lengthy and deliberate search for the Anthropologie vacant president position, we have concluded that a combined leadership structure was the optimal approach for furthering the brand's North American development," said Glen T Senk, chief executive officer.

"For more than a decade, Wendy and Wendy have played crucial roles in Anthropologie's development, and I am confident that they will lead the brand to continued success."

Ms Wurtzburger has been in a senior merchandising role at Anthropologie for 10 years, most recently as executive director and general merchandise manager.

Ms Brown began her career with Urban Outfitters Inc in 1991 and most recently served as senior executive director of retail at Anthropologie.

Urban Outfitters operates 115 Anthropologie stores, as well as its Urban Outfitters and Free People concepts.