For the first quarter sales at Urban Outfitters rose by ten per cent. This growth was spurred by higher consumer spending, despite a longer than normal winter, as well as easier comparisons versus the same period last year.
It was the first quarter in four years that the company was able to post positive store comps at each of its brands, Free People, Anthropologie, and at its namesake brand.
Substantial growth in the revenue and earnings metrics are expected in the second quarter – sales are expected to grow 12.2 per cent and EPS to increase by a whopping 75 per cent.
The total company markdown rate in the first quarter was the lowest of any quarter in the last ten years. This resulted in higher average unit retail, one of the factors that resulted in positive store comps. A better assortment, higher consumer spending, and disciplined inventory control helped the company keep the discounting low. The company feels there is still scope for a reduction in this metric.
Anthropologie is in the US and UK but the brand is expanding in other countries. Urban Outfitters opened its first freestanding store in Paris in February and a first franchise store in the outskirts of Tel Aviv was launched in April. The company plans to open two additional stores in Europe and facilitate the opening of several additional franchised stores in Israel. Free People intends to open its first two stores in Europe later this year or early next year.