Retail Therapy: Urban Outfitters revamps Fresno store

The Fresno BeeApril 19, 2014 

The Fresno Bee. The Urban Outfitters at Fashion Fair mall is now an Urban Outfitters Surplus with lower prices, a ping pong table and video games.

BETHANY CLOUGH/THE FRESNO BEE

The Urban Outfitters at Fashion Fair mall in Fresno is now an Urban Outfitters Surplus.

That means the store is essentially one big sale all the time. Prices are much lower than they were before, and the store's layout and design are different.

Rows of racks hold dresses, sweaters and tops ranging from "$9.99 and up" to "$29.99 and up." Most items on the rack are the initial price — no real bait-and-switch going on here. There are bins of $3 scarves and $9.99 clutch purses. The surplus items come from stores in the Bay Area.

Urban Outfitters made the switch about three weeks ago and is one of three surplus stores in the nation — along with stores in Chicago and Sherman Oaks. The company did not respond to questions about why it made the change or if the casual clothing retailer's prices were too out-of-reach for Fresno shoppers. (Urban Outfitters also own Anthropologie stores, by the way, but no indication they're planning anything similar there.)

The store, in the outdoor portion of the mall, now has a ping-pong table and video games (Extreme Hunting, Final Fight and Lethal Enforcers, if you're curious) that customers are invited to play. They can lounge on a couch, too.

LUSH

Cosmetics store LUSH was scheduled to open this weekend in the outdoor portion of Fashion Fair mall.

This retailer appears to target people who care about the ingredients that go into their soap, skin and hair products. LUSH calls itself an "ethical retailer" whose products have fresh ingredients and are not tested on animals. More than 80% of its products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. That includes face masks with raw ingredients kept in a refrigerator.

LUSH products have as little packaging as possible and customers are given the option to "go naked," — meaning buy something like a "bath bomb" with no packaging at all.

ULTA

The third ULTA Beauty in the Fresno area opened Friday. This one is at the Marketplace at El Paseo, the new shopping center at Herndon Avenue near Highway 99. Similar to the other ULTA stores, it carries cosmetics, skin and hair products, perfume and hair styling products. It has a full-service hair salon inside the store.

Grand opening events are happening through Sunday, including gift certificates for the first 100 customers Sunday.

 

The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter. Read her blog on www.fresnobeehive.com.

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