Urban Outfitters goes from skinny jeans to pizza

In a new expansion of food and retail, Urban Outfitters Inc. is acquiring a Philadelphia-based restaruant chain.

Vetri Family operates five Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, and also three  Pizzeria Vetri restaurants, with two in Philadelphia, one in Austin, Texas, and two reportedly in the works in Washington, D.C.  

The move comes as many  retailers are working to make their stores more experiential by adding various services, including food and beverages, to the mix.

Urban Outfitters on Monday said has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all The Vetri Family group of restaurants, including its award-winning Pizzeria Vetri.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Having known Marc for almost a decade and partnered with him through his charitable foundation, we are honored to have him, Jeff and the Vetri family join the URBN team,” said Richard A. Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters. “Spending on casual dining is expanding rapidly, and thus, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to expand the Pizzeria Vetri concept.”   

The Vetri restaurant group is co-headed by James Beard award winning chef Marc Vetri and his business partner, Jeff Benjamin. Most recently Food and Wine magazine named Pizzeria Vetri, which has three locations and two in the works, the best pizza restaurant in America.

The acquisition will make Vetri Family a subsidiary of Urban Outfitters,  with Vetri leading the helm as president and Benjamin as COO. 

In a report by philly.com,  Urban chief development officer Dave Ziel noted that trends show disposable income is increasingly shifting from retail and into food. The report also said that Vetri and Benjamin will help help Urban develop food and beverage concepts.

“It’s a perfect match,” said Vetri. “URBN and the Vetri Family share the same singular goal, we pride ourselves on bringing the best possible experience to our customers and community. Through this partnership, and the experience URBN has in scaling growth opportunities, the Vetri Family will now be able to focus on what we do best – run restaurants that make people happy.”

Urban Outfitters operates 240 Urban Outfitters namesake stores in  the United States, Canada, and Europe; 214 Anthropologie stores in the United States, Canada and Europe, catalogs and websites; and 112 Free People stores in the United States and Canada, along with catalogs and websites for each brand. 

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