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Industry Insight

AGENDA: GroupY's Emerge brand-building conference returns on Jan. 6.
SURFRIDER: "Protect What You Love" holiday appeal.
MOSS ADAMS: Plan now for tax season.
Details on Industry Insight.


Tiffany Montgomery
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Urban Outfitters has Bucklesque Q2

By Tiffany Montgomery
August 15, 2008 7:32 AM

One of my readers suggested I should be covering Urban Outfitters, given how many action sports brands sell to the chain, including Analog, Insight, Burton, Obey, Paul Frank, RVCA, WeSC and Volcom.


I've added Urban to my list and here's a quick summary of the company's stellar second quarter when the company definitely outperformed the market. The results were released yesterday.


- Total sales rose 30 percent to $454 million.


- Total company same-store sales rose 13 percent, including a 19 percent jump at Urban Outfitters.


- Net income rose 79 percent to $57 million.


- The company is seeing healthy trends in all of its brands - Urban Outfitters, Athropologie and Free People.


- Unlike other retailers, the company said its even saw positive trends in women's apparel that gave Urban good intelligence how to position merchandise for the second half of the year. Executives declined to elaborate on what those good trends are, however, for fear of tipping off the competition. They would only say, "Go to the stores. If it's at regular price, it's selling. If it's in markdown, it's not."

-It was interesting to hear a retail company talk about moderate domestic growth plans not based on the slow economy, but rather fear of growing too big and losing its cool factor. Executives even used a phrase I have heard so much in the action sports industry: "Size is the enemy of cool." The company believes it can have 250 Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters stores in the U.S. Currently, there are 132 Urban Outfitters stores worldwide. "All of our brands will continue to be targeted to an up-market, sophisticated customer and typically the customer that we target to appreciates scarcity, so we'll continue on that path," CEO Glen Senk said.


- The company is focusing its store growth in Europe, where it is scouting for Anthropologie sites and accelerating Urban Outfitters openings.


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