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Urban Outfitters Company vs. Big Box Stores


Urban Outfitters is a company that targets diverse cultural groups around the globe and aims at offering them distinctive casual clothing, housewares as well as accessories. Psychological relation with the customers has facilitated the success of this company. As compared to other retailers, Urban Outfitters’ marketing strategy does not put much emphasis on an advertisement, yet it provides a good shopping experience to its customers (Urban Outfitters, 2010).

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Why Sears or Wal-mart cannot effectively create a trendy Counterculture Image

The word counterculture can be defined as a culture that depicts lifestyles that are opposed to the already established cultures. Urban Outfitters demonstrates a shopping experience that has a noticeable difference in positioning and differentiating its products. This strategy helped to display a sense of fashion to the university students who were by then presumed as a counterculture. These potential customers did not only desire a distinct shopping experience but also coming out with incomprehensible products that portrayed a counterculture image (Conley & Friedenwald-Fishman, 2006)

Therefore, creating a trendy counterculture image is all about being different and distinctive from the current market trend with an aim of going against the traditional trends of society. A company can successfully create a counterculture image at the onset of its business operations (Conley & Friedenwald-Fishman, 2006). Wal-mart or Sears cannot effectively create a trendy counterculture image due to their history from the onset of the business operations. Hence, they have already created a perceived image of their products to their customers.

Creating a trendy counterculture image for Wal- mart or Sears will therefore work to their disadvantage since they will lose their competitive advantage to Urban Outfitters. This results from the fact that Urban Outfitters has already been perceived as a leading niche player since it has been providing niche products in various market segments from the onset of its business operations.

Moreover, it is hard for Wal- mart, and Sears to create a counterculture image due to how they carry out their business operations. These stores operate on a high volume-low profit margin, and therefore the only way they are able to attain a good profit margin is through mass production rather than a controlled production for a niche market (Vedder & Cox, 2006).

Could the Big Box Stores sell Merchandise Identical to Urban Outfitters?

An appropriate definition of a big box store would be a physically huge retail establishment, also referred to as a superstore, which is usually part of a chain of stores or departments (Vedder & Cox, 2006). For case in point, the Wal-Mart store can be referred to as a big box store.

Big Box Stores sell cannot be in a position of selling merchandise identical to Urban Outfitters since Urban Outfitters has already carried out an appropriate market segmentation that facilitates the efficient positioning of their unique products according to the different tastes of diverse customers across the globe. This has also helped them to create brand awareness and brand loyalty (Vedder & Cox, 2006).

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Why exclusivity is valuable

There are a number of reasons why exclusivity is valuable to a company as well as to its customers. Exclusivity is valuable to the majority of companies and stores since it guarantees a market. In the case of Urban Outfitters, the stores can be assured of a long-lasting market since they provide the customers with unique products that hold high-quality standards (González-Hernando et al., 2003). In addition to this, Urban Outfitters is able to improve the quality of its products through close interaction with the customer, and hence maintain brand loyalty.

The second reason why exclusivity is valuable is that it enables a company to distinguish its products and services from each other. Market differentiation plays a critical role in the business since it enables a company to analyze the purchasing power of each segment as well as assess the competitive advantage of the product in diverse regions (González-Hernando et al., 2003). This helps the niche companies to define their customers’ approach which in turn helps to control the supply chains in such a way that the stores will not suffer from an overload or deficiency of products.

The third reason as to why exclusivity is valuable is that it puts the company on competitive advantage (González-Hernando et al., 2003). Exclusivity offers an opportunity for the company/store to demonstrate a unique selling point that facilitates information exchange for every customer of the niche product. This is normally done through the company’s website whereby the marketers can be able to interact with the customers concerning details of the niche products. Moreover, exclusivity facilitates the promotion of other products and hence, it reduces the advertisement cost. This is the main reason why Urban Outfitters does not rely much on advertising their products to the public.

Shopping is largely Entertainment

I do agree with Mr. Glen Senk’s statement, which implies that shopping is largely entertainment. This statement is supported by recent studies, which have revealed that women perceive shopping as retail therapy (Conley & Friedenwald-Fishman, 2006). Women are generally known for being social in the shopping sphere as compared to men and hence, the shopping experience is an undeniable entertainment value in itself.

Psychologists have also suggested that women gain a lot of psychologically through shopping. This emanates from the fact that shopping plays the role of relieving their stresses since they meet people and exchange information ranging from the day-to-day life to the products that the company offers (Conley & Friedenwald-Fishman, 2006)


Conley, C., & Friedenwald-Fishman, E. (2006). Marketing that matters: 10 practices to profit your business and change the world. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

González-Hernando, S., Argüelles, V. I., & Gutiérrez, J. A. (2003). Exclusivity and relationalism in marketing channels. The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 18, 1, 22-39.

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Urban Outfitters, Inc. (2010). Urban Outfitters. Web.

Vedder, R. K., & Cox, W. (2006). The Wal-MartRrevolution: How big-box stores benefit consumers, workers, and the economy. Washington, D.C: AEI Press.

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