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Urban Outfitters rides out slump

US branded young fashion chain Urban Outfitters saw UK sales rise 23% to £42.2 million, but pre-tax profits fell 22% to £2.37m for the year to January 31.

In accounts filed at Companies House this week, Urban Outfitters said it had seen a slowdown in consumer spending towards the end of the year. Like-for-like sales were up 22.4% for the first half of 2007 but this sank back to 3.1% in the final quarter.
Urban Outfitters has stores in Oxford Street, Kensington and Covent Garden in London, Bluewater in Kent, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow. It opened a Belfast store in March of this year.

Suppliers said the retailer’s mix of cool brands in quirky shops, as well as its non-clothing offer, had been a hit with customers last year.

Urban Outfitters sells brands including J Lindeberg, Junk de Luxe, Cheap Monday, Free People, Levi’s and Paul Smith.
Despite falling profits at the chain, one brand director of a supplier to Urban Outfitters said the business was well placed to ride out the economic storm.

He said: “It has a unique proposition and, when the climate is like it is, that is what makes it special. It knows its end consumer and has thought about the customer that walks through its doors.

“It is a good place to be from a brand projection point of view,” he continued.

Urban Outfitters declined to comment.

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