Urban Outfitters Reports Holiday Sales Up 13 Percent
Total sales for the two months ended December 31, 2006 increased by 13% over the same period last year to $278 million. The growth was primarily driven by a 21% increase in the total number of stores in operation. Increases from new and non-comparable stores added $34 million in sales during the period. Also contributing to the increase was a 21% rise in direct-to-consumer sales through the Company's catalogs and web sites and a 19% increase in Free People Wholesale sales.
These factors more than offset a 5% decrease in total Company comparable store sales during the period. By brand, 'comp' store sales decreased by 8% at Anthropologie, 4% at Urban Outfitters and increased by 4% at Free People. In the same prior year period, total Company 'comps' rose by 8% and, by brand, increased by 2%, 14% and 21%, respectively.
Sales for the calendar month of December grew by 15% while total Company comparable store sales declined by 5% versus a combined 'comp' increase of 6% for the same period last year. Free People 'comp' sales gained 4%, while Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters 'comp' store sales for the month declined by 9% and 2%, respectively. Direct-to-consumer sales jumped 23% while Free People wholesale sales rose by 13%. Sales (issuance) of gift card units during the Holiday period were up 12% against the same Holiday period last year, increasing by over $1.2 million.
"During the Holiday period we continued to make progress in aligning our fashion offerings with our customers' preferences as the percentage decline in 'comp' store sales was cut in half from those reported for the third quarter. Direct-to-consumer Holiday sales were robust and continue to increase their penetration of overall Holiday business. The Urban European stores remained significantly ahead of plan and Free People Wholesale posted respectable gains from last year's Holiday period," said Richard A. Hayne, Chairman and President.
For the 11-month year-to-date period, total Company sales increased by 12% to $1.14 billion. Total comparable store sales for the 11 months were down 6%. Direct sales rose 16% for the period, with solid growth at all brands. Finally, Free People wholesale sales jumped 39% for the year-to-date period.
Thus far, the Company has opened 16 Urban Outfitters stores, 12 Anthropologie stores and 2 Free People stores -- 30 new stores in total during the fiscal year. Management expects to open an additional 1 or 2 stores during January. The Company will release Fourth Quarter and FY 2007 sales results on February 6, 2007.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. is an innovative specialty retailer and wholesaler which offers a variety of lifestyle merchandise to highly defined customer niches through 106 Urban Outfitters stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe; an Urban Outfitters web site; 91 Anthropologie stores in the United States; an Anthropologie catalog and web site; and Free People, the Company's wholesale division, which sells its product to approximately 1,500 specialty stores, department stores and catalogs, as well as through 8 Free People stores and a catalog and web site.
This news release is being made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Certain matters contained in this filing may constitute forward-looking statements. Any one, or all, of the following factors could cause actual financial results to differ materially from those financial results mentioned in the forward-looking statements: the difficulty in predicting and responding to shifts in fashion trends, changes in the level of competitive pricing and promotional activity and other industry factors, overall economic and market conditions and the resultant impact on consumer spending patterns, including any effects of terrorist acts or war, availability of suitable retail space for expansion, timing of store openings, seasonal fluctuations in gross sales, the departure of one or more key senior managers, import risks, including potential disruptions and changes in duties, tariffs and quotas and other risks identified in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that actual results may differ materially from any projected results expressed or implied therein.
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SOURCE: Urban Outfitters, Inc.
Urban Outfitters, Inc.
John E. Kyees, Chief Financial Officer