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Urban Outfitters’ profits surge

US young fashion chain Urban Outfitters is mulling the launch of new concepts and new brands, after scoring record profits for its fourth quarter.

Chief executive Glen Senk said: “We’re exploring many new concepts. There are about 12 that we’re thinking about.”

Senk said the fourth quarter had been “the pinnacle in what was a turnaround year”. Sales soared 29% to US$465.4 million (£230.6m) for the three months to January 31.

Sales at the business’s Anthropologie chain jumped 18% over the period, while sales at womenswear chain Free People rocketed 9% and sales at Urban Outfitters rose by 6%.

Senk said the results signalled “an exciting recovery”. Sales were boosted by a reduction in discounting and costs, and total sales grew 23% to US$1.5 billion (£743m) for the year.

Senk, who was appointed chief executive last year, plans to increase own-brand merchandise by up to 50% across the stores.

He added that wholesale brands such as Leifsdottir, which is created by the Anthropologie design team, offered future growth opportunities. He is also considering introducing footwear to stores.

The business plans to open up to 50 stores across its three chains this year.

Readers' comments (4)



  • Hayne doesn't give many interviews precisely because he's afraid that college slackers who get to know him will suddenly realise that buying his clothes is like giving cash to George Bush.
    Once described as projecting a "Dick Cheney-esque aura of no-nonsense gray-flannel gravitas", Hayne must be the only retailer whose expansion plans depend on no one finding out who he really is.
    Despite the strife in the sector, Urban just beat Wall Street profit expectations yet again. So far, the illusion is holding up perfectly


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  • from The Standard 20/05/08 by Simon English
    Hayne started the business in the 1970s, taking it public in 1993 and bringing it to Britain in 1998. He is still the biggest shareholder and a seriously rich man - a billionaire by some estimates. You only have to look to see that there is nothing remotely hip about him. There is surely a bigger gulf between Hayne and his customer base than any other High Street retailer.

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  • from The Standard 20/05/08 by Simon English
    Hayne started the business in the 1970s, taking it public in 1993 and bringing it to Britain in 1998. He is still the biggest shareholder and a seriously rich man - a billionaire by some estimates. You only have to look to see that there is nothing remotely hip about him. There is surely a bigger gulf between Hayne and his customer base than any other High Street retailer.

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  • Shopping in Urban makes you feel like you are somewhere radically Left-wing, an antidote to the corporate blandness of The Gap.
    But Hayne is a stanch conservative who donates money to Republican politicians, not least Rick Santorum, a now failed Senator whose views on homosexuality are both bizarre and old-fashioned.
    Hayne doesn't give many interviews precisely because he's afraid that college slackers who get to know him will suddenly realise that buying his clothes is like giving cash to George Bush.
    Hayne must be the only retailer whose expansion plans depend on no one finding out who he really is.

    Had to post in bits and pieces but essence is here

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