Are Upscale Homeless People Thumbing Their Noses After Urban Outfitters’ CEO Reportedly Called Customers “Upscale Homeless” People?

Buzzfeed reports that at a September 2012 analyst day, the CEO of Urban Outfitters described the namesake store’s customer as the “upscale homeless person…”

Here’s the quote from the article, which also refers to the company’s Anthropologie brand:

“The Urban customer, we always talk about, is the upscale homeless person, who has a slight degree of angst and is probably in the life stage of 18 to 26…The Anthropologie customer is a bit more polished, a bit more older and she has much less angst…”

Sounds like a great idea for a marketing campaign, if by “marketing campaign” you mean “potentially poor choices of words you tell analysts and not your customers.”

The good news is hearing this may create more angst in the company’s customers, leading to greater angst-driven sales based on their apparent business model!

3 Questions That Arise From This Story

1. If the hipsters shopping at Urban Outfitters are “upscale homeless” people, what are the hipsters who shop at “American Apparel?” “Upscale” isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind based on some of the scantily clad models we’ve seen in American Apparel ads. Are “fluorescent” or “neon” adjectives? We hope so, because those are the first words we’re thinking of.

2. Is there a lesson here suggesting that spending too much on clothing might make you homeless?

3. Which kind of jeans best convey “angst?” We’ll vote skinny jeans since putting on tight jeans seems more likely to put people in a bad mood than looser denim.

Categories: Humor

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. Maybe it means the style of dress? I don’t think spending to much money on clothes would make a person homeless. I think what he said is a good way to lose customers though.

    Black and White Flyers


    • If you read the original article linked, they appear to consider that to include people who “rent” rather than “people who live on the street.” Perhaps when you’re a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company you have a different definition of “homeless” than most people.


  2. I know when I write blog posts, I target consumers who have no angst whatsoever. If you have angst, I say, “To Hell with you! Read Not the Worst News.”


  3. I hope everyone who shops at Urban Outfitters reads this post! It’s so offensive- they deserve to lose customers over that. They probably go to yacht clubs everyday during their 3 hour lunch breaks.


  4. Angst is such a funny word! Angst!


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