PESTLE Analysis of Anthropologie

Anthropologie is an American clothes retailer that focuses primarily on women’s clothing and home decor. Founded in 1992, Anthropologie has accumulated over 200 stores worldwide within just a few decades. This exemplary PESTLE (Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technological, Legal, Environmental) analysis of Anthropologie should help to spot opportunities and threats (from afar), as well as introduce optimal marketing strategies.

Note: For the purpose of this analysis, actions of Anthropologie’s parent company ‘Urban Outfitters’ will be included.

Political Factors:

    Other than import/export limitations or taxes, there are no political factors of particular note.

Economic Factors:

    Many of Anthropologie’s target markets are relatively wealthy, so their business plan of selling highly priced products seems to work.

    Thankfully for them, development and economic growth still seem to be on the rise in most places, so their potential markets are gradually expanding.

    On the other hand, the global rise in development (especially in poorer manufacturing countries like India or Singapore) might result in increased labour costs, which would trim off some of Anthropologie’s profits.

Sociocultural Factors:

    Anthropologie seems to sell ‘self-discovery’ — “[it] is an oasis of offhand sophistication” which does incredibly well across the world in today’s day and age of social/viral media (Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr all helping to market Anthropologie for free) [1].

    On the other hand, these expensive environments which Anthropologie targets have high standards. Anthropologie has recently been attacked for many different ethical reasons, including: not ‘caring’ about black people [2], exploiting workers [3], and stealing designs (mentioned below).

Technological Factors:

    The fact that many people use the internet as a part of their everyday lives is definitely a plus for Anthropologie, who, to a great extent, rely on social media to fuel their sales.

    Use of viral/social media platforms (especially the big three targeted ones mentioned above, along with Facebook and Twitter) seems to be on the rise, something that should definitely help Anthropologie’s future.

Legal Factors:

    Parent company Urban Outfitters has come under fire before for attempting to make employees work for free [4] — something which could easily cause legal repercussions in today’s society.

    Urban Outfitters have also been accused of stealing designs from Etsy sellers [5]. This sort of malpractice can easily kill a business in the world’s current social/legal state.

Environmental Factors:

    Every day, efforts to save the environment are ramped up. This isn’t a big issue for Anthropologie (who don’t particularly consume too much energy or produce excessive amounts of pollution), but is certainly one to note for almost every company.

To conclude, there are plenty of different factors across the board that affect Anthropologie’s place in the today’s markets. If this company can fix up its legal and ethical practices, then there are no direct threats that the future holds for Anthropologie. The economy seems promising (enough), society has fallen in love with their rejuvenating products, and a web-based marketing plan should continue to work for the time being.

Image “Anthropologie” by Marcin Wichary is licensed under CC BY 2.0