Urban Outfitters

Amoeba Music is a West Coast institution and one of the last titanic independent record shops standing. (Actually, there’s three of them: one in LA, one in Berkeley, and one in San Francisco.) Urban Outfitters is a massively successful retail chain that has helped develop indie rock into a profitable lifestyle product by way of selling vinyl, hosting concerts, and other such endeavors. The two companies are joining forces on a new project that will bring Amoeba to the East Coast and theoretically offers indie cred to Urban Outfitters. Beginning 6/7, Amoeba will sell exclusive vinyl releases at the massive new Urban Outfitters “lifestyle desination” in New York’s Herald Square. Explains a press release, Amoeba will stock “a curated assortment of over 400 vintage vinyl titles that can only be found in Urban Outfitters Herald Square.” The 57,000-square-foot facility will also include collaborations with Hairroin Salon, the eyewear company Tortoise & Blonde, and the indie-rock-friendly Chicago coffee company Intelligentsia. (They’re the ones who just released St. Vincent’s signature blend.)

This is the 13th NYC-area Urban Outfitters store, and it follows closely on the heels of a big (but not quite this big) UO location that just opened in Williamsburg much to the consternation of locals.

Comments (13)
  1. I very much like Amoeba. It’s an obligatory stop when I’m on the west coast. I also try to shop their online for vinyl because they ship for free and quickly at that.

    I don’t like this idea. Urban Outfitters sells shitty, overpriced hipster costumes that are never sized right or made poorly, and there’s that thing where the CEO’s political allegiance leans to the right. Amoeba doesn’t need Urban Outfitters, but as stated, Urban Outfitters needs Amoeba.

    • yeah I agree that Urban Outfitters is a marketing ploy but at the same time I love this record store chain more than a lot of things. it sucks so much that record stores are, or already are, extinct so the expansion to west coast is something I can get excited for them. Not exactly ideal conditions for expansion but its better than hearing the Berkeley location got shut down or god forbid they go bankrupt or something

  2. I have a bit of bias here because my girlfriend works at Urban and, by extension, half my friends do too. Apparently that conservative CEO isn’t really associated with the company anymore beyond a minor share of stock holdings. In terms of their clothes being shitty and overpriced, isn’t that the case with every major retailer? Unless you can afford to shop at higher end places that have well made clothes then you’re stuck either dressing like a dad or shopping at places like Urban.

    To me, this seems like a win for both companies as well as consumers. Urban gets some indie cred, Amoeba gets a boost in sales, we get some cool limited edition records. I’m sure even one of the more successful independent record store chains still needs all the help they can get these days. If Amoeba didn’t need the help I’m sure they wouldn’t be agreeing to cut Urban in on a share of the profits from these records. I don’t see how Amoeba simply associating themselves with Urban somehow diminishes them.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • Really????? She isn’t some girl I’ve been casually dating for a few months, we’ve been together 4 and half years now, we live together, we’re deeply in love. That’s a shitty thing to say just because you don’t like her employer. Why do you insist on coming here to be such an asshole so often???? I get that you’ve got a lot going on in your personal life but clearly using the gum comment boards as an outlet isn’t doing anything to help that. Cut it out or go troll elsewhere already.

  3. I don’t care if people shop at Urban Outfitters because they’re just clothes, but I have always had beef with people who buy vinyl from Urban Outfitters and the musicians who strike deals with them. Not only is buying vinyl from Urban Outfitters perpetuating the myth that we buy vinyl because we’re supposed to in the lifestyle, or image, or stereotype, but buying vinyl from local record stores or from other record stores online is about the only thing we can do to actually keep a record store experience alive. Urban Outfitters couldn’t care less if every record store in the world closed down; they don’t care at all.

    • But in this case wouldn’t buying one of those records qualify as supporting a locally owned store? I can see arguments on both sides of that question.

    • why SHOULD urban outfitters care if every other record store in the world closed down? Then they’d sell more records. And it sounds like your blaming UO for the demise of “record store experience,” which is absurd. You should be celebrating the fact that there’s a brick and mortar store willing to devote selling space to that medium, possibly paving the way for others to do the same.

  4. “Lifestyle destination”, hahaha. Why would they open a store in that place?

  5. Best stereo speakers I ever bought (for the price) were from Harvey’s — in ABC Carpet and Home. KEFs. So I wouldn’t knock lifestyle marketing.

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