Urban Outfitters Inc. said Thursday that net income rose 38.6 percent to $47 million in the first quarter ended April 30, compared with $33.96 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per diluted share rose 39 percent to 32 cents from 23 cents a year earlier.
Total net sales for the company, which operates the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters chains, were $648 million, a 14 percent increase from $568.9 million for the same 2013 quarter. Comparable retail net sales, which include direct-to-consumer channel sales, increased 9 percent. Comparable retail segment net sales jumped 44 percent at Free People, 8 percent at Anthropologie and 6 percent at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale net sales rose 16 percent.
“Our focus on the direct-to-consumer channel has paid off nicely, and we plan to continue to make the investments necessary to support its robust growth,” said Richard Hayne, president and chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters Inc. Web traffic rose almost 20 percent year-over-year, and new direct-to-consumer growth was 46 percent.
David McCreight, ceo of Anthropologie, said comps grew in response to some of the changes the brand made in apparel. “We are continuing to work on increasing the appeal of the offering, becoming more nimble in product design, improving the accuracy of store allocations and continuing the pace of online development,” McCreight said. “We plan on expanding the product range in existing categories as well as adding adjacent categories. We’re going to continue reaching new customers and driving further geographic expansion.”
Product expansion grew 46 percent in the first quarter. McCreight cited Anthropologie petites, which, based on results, will be rolled out to additional stores in fiscal year 2014. As for Free People intimates, another new category, the brand is in discussions with potential partners, Hayne said.
The gross profit rate improved by 125 basis points in the first quarter, primarily due to a reduction in markdowns driven by improvements at the Anthropologie brand. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales decreased by 70 basis points compared with the prior-year period, driven by strong retail sales.
Hayne outlined four initiatives for fiscal 2014: expand and enhance the direct-to-consumer channel, continue to build stores in underpenetrated U.S. markets and expand in international markets and expand product categories and enter adjacent businesses through licensing, partnerships, joint ventures and/or acquisitions.
In April, Free People wholesale opened its first pop-up shop in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Free People will work with partner World Co. Ltd. to launch a Japan direct-to-consumer business.
Urban Outfitters is also looking at opportunities in Japan. “We’re involved in conversations with people in the market about opportunities, but there are no specifics to announce,” said Ted Marlow, ceo of Urban Outfitters Group.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)