Urban Outfitters, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based operators of the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People brands, intends to launch a fourth brand early next year.

The new nameplate, which has yet to be determined, will be "inspired by the 'greenhouse,'" said Richard Hayne, chairman and president of the firm. "Sites will be large and free standing. Merchandise will include lifestyle home and garden products combined with antiques, live plants and flowers.

"We have an outstanding opportunity to serve the affluent consumer by offering a unique brand that overwhelms the senses with an eclectic product mix presented in a setting infused with beauty," he concluded.

Urban Outfitters currently operates 110 Urban Outfitters stores and 95 under the Anthropologie banner and operates web sites and catalogues for those names. It also conducts wholesale business through its Free People brand, which also incorporates eight stores, a web site and catalogue.

The announcement by Urban Outfitters continues a growing trend by which youth-focused specialty retailers have developed new nameplates to foster additional growth.

In addition to Abercrombie & Fitch's Hollister offshoot, Pacific Sunwear's Demo division and American Eagle Outfitters' Martin + Osa brand, Gap developed stores under the Forth & Towne brand but decided in February to close them after an 18-month trial.
By Arnold J Karr.