You might have noticed us talking about a Depot recently on our social channels, and you’ve probably wondered what that’s all about.
It’s with great pride and excitement that we announce our totally refreshed bricks-and-mortar store: Urban Industry Depot.
Dan King, owner and buyer here at Urban Industry, explains the whats and the whys in this Q&A.
What is Urban Industry Depot?
The Depot is the new name for the store down here at Urban Industry HQ.
The whole business is 18 years old this year and we’ve had a bricks-and-mortar offering for our local customers open for the entire length of that.
The ‘Depot’ is the latest incarnation of our offline store. I wanted to give the offline side of Urban Industry a personality of its own and give it something that our loyal local customers could enjoy coming to.
I really want to start a few more social gatherings when it’s safe to do so – events like a Danner boot-fitting, or an introduction to the seasonal Arc’teryx Gore-Tex collection, or a cookout with Snow Peak camping equipment; that kind of thing.
When did you decide it was time for a refresh?
Well, like many other new endings/beginnings, the Covid pandemic has changed a lot of things. After the initial dread/shock/despair that sets in when something like that kicks off, you kind of have to pick yourself up and get on with it.
With a forced closure of the store during lockdown, and with us working a three-day week for the online side of things, I managed to get some thinking time. It felt like it was a great opportunity to redevelop the whole store.
Where did the name come from?
We had a bit of a brainstorming session in the office and a number of different names came forward that weren’t quite right, like the ‘Bunker’ or the ‘Compound’ – maybe we were feeling the apocalypse approaching or something, but all of those felt a bit too heavy!
The ‘Base Camp’ also came out, but that felt a bit too much like we were in the Himilayas. The Depot felt about right, and with a more outdoor-ready and workwear-inspired direction for the store, it fit the bill.
Tell us about the logo…
I wanted something with a heritage-style ‘depot’ look, so I reached out to our good friend Aron (@fried.cactus.studio) for some design help.
I really like Aron’s style, and he nailed the logo almost immediately. Expect more from him at Urban Industry and the Depot.
What inspired the look and feel of the new shop space?
With the store direction of ‘Outdoor, Workwear & Sports’, I wanted the flow to run across the store in different zones.
We have an outdoor tech side with brands like Arc’teryx, Danner, Rab, Patagonia, Nike ACG, etc.
That section runs into our more workwear-inspired collections from the likes of Carhartt WIP, Dickies, Kestin and Filson.
And then there’s our sportswear/streetwear ranges from Nike, adidas, Champion, By Parra and more.
Plus, we still have our huge sneaker wall, which has been a part of the store since we opened this spot almost 10 years ago.
The look is super-clean – less is more – and we’ve been really selective with all the brands and products that get ranged and merchandised in the Depot. Our regulars will know, though, that they can surf the entire Urban Industry store on the screen by the till and ask for anything we stock to be brought out.
Have you brought in any new brands to align with the change?
Not specifically, but we’re always moving and changing. We’ve been introducing a different direction for the last three or four years, but it’s ever-evolving. As always, I go with brands and products I really like for many different reasons but the store has always been an extension of my personal tastes to some degree or other.
Will we see any Depot-branded products?
Definitely hope so! It’s tonnes of fun to create some product rather than buying in brands all the time.
We’ve just made some diner mugs straight off the bat, and I’m looking at collaborations with brands and other businesses that would make total sense to our customers. Also, I’m always looking for responsible-production items that we can add to the mix going forward, so keep your eyes peeled.
Is there going to be a launch party at some (safer) point?
Yeah, would love to! Just a shame we can’t make use of the great weather we’ve had these last few months to get outside the store and catch up with our regulars.
I can foresee a BBQ and a few beers down the line; perhaps it will have to be next year now, but we’ll see how everything develops out there!