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Inside Urban Outfitters' Massive, Magical Mecca in Malibu

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

When it comes to new store openings, Urban Outfitters likes to think big. From surplus shops in Sherman Oaks to theatre takeovers in DTLA, the wildly popular retail chain isn't afraid to go off the beaten path to nail prime real estate. That's why its no surprise that UO has brilliantly selected a cable company's former 10,075-square-foot warehouse for its first location in Malibu.

Welcoming shoppers as of right this second, Urban Outfitters at Malibu Country Mart salutes the surf-happy neighborhood without being obvious. "We wanted to try to do something really unique with this location," explains John Hauser, Urban Outfitters Chief Officer of Brand Experience. "Creating a beachy feel here would have been kind of cliché, so we went for a bohemian vibe instead." Boho touches include vintage apparel and old rugs that the UO team spent months collecting, retro pottery from the Rose Bowl picked up by Hauser himself, indigo dye and dye kits, sage and petrified wood, terrariums and plants scattered throughout the shop, and incredible installations commissioned by local artists like Janelle Pietrzak. The cool part? All of the store's décor is for sale.

In addition to carrying all of UO's tried-and-true brands for men and women, there's also a selection of items by Etsy vendors. "We reached out to our favorite vendors and said, 'Hey, we really love what you do,'" Hauser explains. "We're not knocking people off—we're buying their work and having them create stuff for us. It's about supporting indie talent." Other out-of-the-box finds: a photo booth, a Coolhaus ice cream cart (UO is rolling these out at more locations) and a well-stocked record shop. "I think we're one of the largest sellers of vinyl in the US right now," Hauser adds.

Looking to create a community environment, the space also features a courtyard with free WiFi, a hammock, a bonfire, lots of seating and even a Converse pop-up tent. There's also a large wall for projecting movies during their many upcoming festivities, including Friday's Sunshine Daydream screening and next Saturday's (August 24th) "Live in the Lot" party from 12 to 5pm with performances by LA bands Bleached and Dum Dum Girls.

Urban Outfitters Malibu is opening Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am to 7pm.
· Urban Outfitters [Official Site]
· Urban Outfitters is Expanding to Malibu [Racked]
· Confirmed! Urban Outfitters Taking Over DTLA's Rialto Theatre [Racked]
· Urban Outfitters Opened a Huge Surplus Shop in Sherman Oaks [Racked]

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