There are Urban Outfitters locations sprinkled throughout major cities, each one bustling with that city's brand of hipster. Apparently while all of those purposely-ironic kids were shopping away, Urban Outfitters' profits were booming past the industry average, increasing its revenues by 500% in the last 10 years. Forbes explored the secret behind this success, largely attributing it to two main factors: retail naiveté and priotizing aesthetics over analytics. The former meaning the guys who started it had zero experience in the retail industry and smartly ignored the norms. The latter meaning that stores are managed by artists rather than data-analysts. Things look good, so people buy them. Simple as that!
I can't tell if the lack of brand association between Urban Outfitters and its subsidaries – Free People, Anthropologie, and now Terrain – is intentional or not. Do most people realize that they're all owned by Urban Outfitters? I suppose the general style and tone of all of these is a bit similar: Relaxed, artistic, colorful, and a little funky. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Gap's ownership of Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta is fairly well known. Wonder which scenario is more adventageous.