Nordstrom and Anthropologie, one of Urban Outfitters' banners, on Monday announced a partnership to introduce more than 200 items from Anthropologie Home at select Nordstrom full-line stores and on Nordstrom.com, beginning March 19th. The goods will be in Nordstrom stores in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, suburban DC, Minneapolis's Mall of America, Scottsdale, AZ, Denver, California and New Jersey.
The Anthropologie Home collection includes kitchen, dining and entertaining, bed and bath textiles, room décor, stationery and hardware, and represents a mix of classic and iconic pieces, new seasonal designs and exclusive artist collaborations, according to a press release from the companies.
The announcement follows moves by retailers of various stripes to amplify furniture and home goods, including Target's Project 62, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia and Anthropologie-like Opalhouse, a similar multi-brand effort at Walmart led by Dot & Bo founder Anthony Soohoo, TJX's new Homesense stores and HomeGoods locations, and even Home Depot's acquisition last year of home goods catalog The Company Store.
Like home improvement sales, home goods sales are benefiting from the strong housing market. TJX's HomeGoods in particular has gained traction among U.S. consumers: Though there are far fewer HomeGoods stores than J.C. Penney, Macy's or Sears stores, female primary household consumers were more likely to shop for housewares there, according to a study by Kantar Retail cited by CNBC last year.
It's also an area where Walmart hopes to make up some of the margin losses from its increased e-commerce. In addition to a major category revamp, the retail giant is reportedly turning to vendors for more consumer products like sauces, soaps, toys and home goods, priced at least $5 but preferably $10 or more, to boost online profits.
Anthropologie fetches premium prices for goods from comforters and poufs to candles and napkins, and a presence in Nordstrom stores could help expand its customer base and make up for what some analysts find to be somewhat chaotic stores. In its third quarter, the brand's same-store sales rose 2%, well behind sibling Free People, but better than the flagship Urban Outfitters banner.
Still, the brand operates in that hard to nail down "third wave" of cool that allows a retailer to avoid competing on price or relying on uber-convenience, according to Lee Peterson, EVP of brand strategy & design at design firm WD Partners. And that's good for Nordstrom, considering how department stores are the main losers of other retailers' stepped up efforts in furniture and home.
"Home is a category we continue to evolve and being Anthropologie's partner will allow us to introduce dynamic home product with a regular cadence," Gemma Lionello, Nordstrom executive vice president and general merchandise manager, said in a statement. "We look forward to providing our customers with another way to shop one of their favorite home brands."