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Archive for December, 2010

Urban Cardiff

This morning, the first Urban Outfitters store in Wales opened in our very own city of Cardiff. I admit I did get quite excited as soon as it was announced. I will confess at this point that I have never actually made a purchase in an Urban Outfitters store, but I love wandering round and looking at all the creative things they stock that I would buy if I had endless disposable income. Their stores are always a visual treat, with wonderful interior design and planning.
Queuing outside new shops isn’t something I do habitually, but as my office is less than a minute’s walk from the new shop, I decided to make an exception this time. They announced on their Facebook page that it would be opening at 10am, so I took an early lunch break and set off at 9.57. There was one other person there, so together we waited.

Urban Outfitters Cardiff

Looking in through the door.

Soon enough it was 5 past 10, then 10 past. Eventually one of the staff came to the door to tell us it would be another 15 minutes. I considered going back to work, but figured that if I’d been there 15 minutes I may as well stick it for the duration. Sure enough, 15 cold minutes later they opened the doors.

In I wandered, wide eyed. The staff were very welcoming but there was not a gift or freebie in sight. I know it’s rude to expect gifts, but generally at the ‘grand’ opening of such a high-profile shop one might at least be given a discount voucher as a reward for waiting outside.

Nevertheless the store did not disappoint. It’s an absolutely huge shop unit, large amounts of the old David Morgan store, at the site that used to be Borders. The construction of the building means that natural room-like areas are created. They’ve used this really well in the decor by putting each collection in a different part.

Urban Outfitters Cardiff

Large spaces are used for creative displays, whilst maintaining original features like these fab windows.

As well as creative outfit presentation, they have all sorts of quirky accessories and plants around each display which really adds to the experience of walking around the store.

Urban Outfitters Cardiff

Quirky design accessories.

I really enjoyed the way that it’s all a bit of a cross between a funky city loft and a department store. The fitting rooms look a lot like a living room, with sofas and reading material. Perhaps unnecessary but it is a really clever use of a big space that maintains a purpose.

Urban Outfitters Cardiff

The fitting room area.

My favourite ‘room’ area could probably be described as a reading room. This is the sort of unique idea that a smaller shop unit just wouldn’t be able to accommodate, so it’s lovely and different. It also houses one of two iMacs that are available for browsing the Urban Outfitters website.

Urban Outfitters Cardiff

The reading room.

As you may have read in other places, the store will also be used to showcase the work of local artists. I hope to see lots of this as it becomes established.

I was very well behaved and managed to return having not blown my entire month’s salary on pretty things, but I did really enjoy the experience. I can see it being the sort of place that people go to enjoy rather than just shop. It’s almost a shame there is no coffee bar in there, they’d have me converted in no time!

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New Blogger Wanted!

My awesome co-writer, Raitapaita, will be leaving Cardiff at the end of December. She’s off on an exciting adventure to work as an au pair in Finland. You can read more about that on her blog.

This, of course, leaves me all alone on the AlmostWelsh front. Of course, I’ll continue to present you with my reviews and news about Cardiff’s happenings, but it would be great if another co-writer (or two, or three) wanted to join in and help me make the posts a bit more frequent.

Our joint philosophy when we started this blog was that we aren’t Welsh and aren’t from Cardiff but we’ve been here for a while now. We love it, and we feel like adopted Welshies. We’re also very excited about telling other people how great Cardiff’s art, culture, events and other happenings are.

If this is something you think you’d like to do, then come and write for us!

Leave a comment on this post if you’re interested, or speak to Chloe at the Cardiff Bloggers Meetup on Tuesday!

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