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Urban Outfitters reports record Q4 sales, wholesale business down


Philadelphia-based lifestyle and services company Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced on Tuesday “record” fourth-quarter sales, despite taking a hit to its wholesale business.

The company said net sales for the three months ended January 31, 2020, increased 3.6 percent over the same period last year to a record $1.17 billion. Comparable retail sales rose 4 percent, thanks largely to growth in the digital channel, though partially offset by negative retail store sales. “I am pleased to report record fourth quarter revenues, driven largely by a 4% increase in retail segment comparable sales,” said Richard A. Hayne, chief executive officer.

“Promotional activity was higher than planned which was necessary to ensure ending retail segment inventories were clean at all three brands leaving them well positioned entering the spring season." Retail comps growth was led by increases of 9 percent at Free People, 6 percent at the Anthropologie Group and were flat at Urban Outfitters. Furthermore, while sales growth in the company’s retail segment totalled 4 percent, the wholesale segment saw less positive results, posting a 10 percent decrease, dragged down by a larger-than-expected decline of 12 percent at Free People. For the full-year, the company posted total sales of $3.98 billion. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, the company has opened 26 new retail locations across its brand portfolio and closed 12. The company will release full fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2020 earnings results on March 3, 2020.

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