The e-commerce revolution was in full view in Urban Outfitters Inc.’s fourth-quarter results — the company’s direct-to-consumer business, including its digital business, drove revenues and helped double the trendy retailer’s profits.
Chief executive officer Richard Hayne said the digital transformation is just beginning.
“We are still in a very early stage of unlocking the potential that the Internet and mobile technologies bring to the consumer industry,” Hayne told analysts Monday on a conference call. “The extraordinary rate of change these disruptive forces create brings both significant risk and opportunity.”
This year Urban Outfitters is sinking money into bringing more talent on board, ramping up marketing and sharpening its technological capabilities.
“The disruptive nature of technology is completely transforming the space, and we are making investments so we remain at the top of the heap and we don’t become an also-ran,” Hayne said.
Sales in the company’s direct-to-consumer business tallied $240.5 million in the fourth quarter, 28.1 percent of the firm’s total sales. That includes mobile sales, which doubled to more than $25 million.
The stores are pitching in. Hayne said the firm’s initiative to “pick, pack and ship,” fulfilling online orders from stores, drove $12 million in incremental sales, picking up online business that would have been lost to out-of-stocks.
Hayne said full-price goods were selling online and would continue to pick up steam.
“Eventually the Web will be a more robust place to sell full-price and higher-price merchandise, and we’re seeing that in a number of the brands,” he said.
Urban’s fourth-quarter profits jumped 110 percent to $82.5 million, or 56 cents a diluted share, from $39.3 million, or 27 cents, a year ago. Sales for the three months ended Jan. 31 rose 17.3 percent to $856.8 million from $730.6 million. The company’s comparable-store sales were flat for the quarter, but comp sales gained 11 percent when direct operations were included.
Comp sales for the Free People brand shot up 37 percent, while Urban Outfitters increased 11 percent and Anthropologie rose 7 percent.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
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@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)