Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 5, 2010 10:32 AM
It's a rare retail brand these days that boasts robust sales – but Urban Outfitters is defying the retail downturn. It's fourth quarter sales rose 16 percent and the company opened 33 stores during its last fiscal year. The company had a record profit for the year of $220 million.
Urban Outfitters seems to have found a winning formula with its youthful city chic Urban Outfitters brand and the more upscale Anthropologie brand. It recently launched Leifsdottir, a "young designer collection" by a fashion designer from Finland. And now, another brand extension is in the works.
This time, Urban Outfitters is planning to break into the $60 billion wedding business. Urban Outfitters will reportedly start an online bridal business in conjunction with Valentine's Day 2011 and follow it with store openings. The bridal business will be branded under the Anthropologie name, and offer a full line of wedding gowns, intimate apparel, and accessories. A bridal registry will likely be included.
The reason for starting with an online launch of the bridal business is simple: Urban Outfitters is enjoying significant success selling online. Online sales now account for about 18 percent of sales, and Glen Senk, Urban Outfitters' chief executive, thinks the company's online business could grow to more than 30 percent in the future. This is one niche retailer that seems to be firing on all cylinders.