Urban Outfitters Sticks with Youth Movement
By George Anderson
You don’t have to like the goods Urban Outfitters sells, says Richard Hayne, the company’s co-founder, chairman and president, only his customers do.
The apparel, accessories and housewares chain, which caters to young adult and teen shoppers, has been criticized for selling t-shirts with slogans such as “New Mexico, Cleaner Than Old Mexico” and “Everybody Loves a Jewish Girl” surrounded by dollar signs, while seeing profits rise by an average of 73 percent a year between 2001 and 2005.
Mr. Hayne told The Associated Press he is “very, very, very rarely” sorry about the choices of products his company sells and he defended his buyers’ product selections.
“Their job is not to know what I find offensive or what you find offensive,” he said. “Their job is know what the 21-year-old female finds enjoyable.”
The retailer, which operates 176 stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People banners is in the early part of its growth cycle, according to Margaret Whitfield, an analyst with Ryan Beck & Co.
“They probably will continue their strong growth rate by staying with the age group currently served,” she said.
Still, Mr Hayne is also looking to older consumers as a potential market for his company. According to the AP report, the retailer is considering the launch of two new concepts, including one that may be similar to Victoria’s Secret but targeted to women in the 35 and up age group.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of Urban Outfitters and its future growth potential? –
George Anderson – Moderator