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Urban Outfitters predicts 60% sales drop

Urban Outfitters has predicted its global store sales could be down more than 60% in the second quarter because of “tepid” demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, it said there had been a 63% jump in new online customers in the first quarter, and that home products and casualwear were “overperforming”.

The business, which includes retailers Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People, announced a preliminary net loss of $138m (£110m) for the three months to 30 April 2020.

Net sales for the period fell by 31.9% compared to the same period last year to $588m (£471m). 

Total retail net sales decreased by 28%, driven by negative retail store sales because of mandated closures. However, this was partially offset by double-digit growth across digital channels. Wholesale net sales decreased by 74%.

The Anthropologie Group saw net sales drop 33%, compared with 24% at Urban Outfitters and 19% at Free People.

The group has 40% of stores open, including 252 in North America and 27 in Europe. It hopes to open a further 100 stores by the first week in June.

Chief executive Richard Hayne said: “We believe a return to near pre-virus levels will take many quarters and a medical vaccine or cure.”

However, he added: “I am incredibly proud of our teams for their hard work, dedication and resilience over the last two months. The actions we’ve taken during the quarter to strengthen our balance sheet and help preserve liquidity provides us with financial flexibility during this difficult period.

“I’m confident our proven ability to execute our multichannel, multi-brand, and multi-category strategy will ensure our future success.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • And for U/O suppliers that were hit by a 30% penalty we would sincerely like to thank you for preserving our liquidity.

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