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Urban Outfitters Explores New Concepts

BY CSA STAFF

Philadelphia Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk last week disclosed a series of initiatives for the company’s Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters banners. These include everything from entering new categories to creating different retail formats and concepts.

Senk told Women’s Wear Daily that there are about 12 concepts the company is thinking about right now. A board meeting is slated for April to focus on these ideas.

“If you asked me two years ago if we were going to be in the garden-center business, I’d have said you’re out of your mind,” he said, referring to Terrain, the company’s fourth retail concept set to hit next month.

Urban Outfitters’ results bode well for the first quarter, which Senk said is “nicely ahead of last year in plan. We remain optimistic, yet appropriately cautious. Given the economic environment, we believe this is a time for conservatism, and are planning our business accordingly.”

Senk called the fourth quarter “the pinnacle in what was a turnaround year,” noting that total company sales increased 29% to $465.4 million. Total same-store sales rose 11%.

By division, Anthropologie’s comps were up 18%, Free People had a 19% increase, and Urban Outfitters saw a 6% rise, “signaling an exciting recovery in the business,” Senk said. Direct-to-consumer sales increased 39%.

Total sales for the year were $1.5 billion, a 23% increase over the previous year.

During the year, the company opened 16 Urban Outfitters stores, 15 Anthropologie stores and seven Free People units. Plans call for 45 to 49 new stores in fiscal 2009.

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Wal-Mart: $4 drugs save shoppers $1 billion

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart senior vp and president of health and wellness, Dr. John Agwunobi, is scheduled to address to the Council of Teaching Hospitals in New Orleans later today, the company reported. Dr. Agwunobi will speak about the success of Wal-Mart’s $4 prescription program, which has saved customers more than $1 billion since its launch in September 2006, according to Wal-Mart.

In his prepared remarks, Agwunobi will note, “While $1 billion in savings is an astonishing achievement, the real savings to America — and its health care system — are even larger. That’s because many of our competitors have also lowered their prices. $4 prescriptions now represent approximately 40% of all filled prescriptions at Wal-Mart. Nearly 30% of $4 prescriptions are filled without insurance — significantly higher than the 10% industry trend. But more importantly, this program has meant that people can now take the drugs that were prescribed to them. They no longer need to cut pills in half or not take the drugs at all.”

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PacSun 4Q comps slide

BY CSA STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. Pacific Sunwear of California today announced that total sales of $420.1 million for its 13-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with total sales of $455.8 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, a 7.8% decrease.

Total company same-store sales decreased 2.2% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. By concept, PacSun same-store sales increased 2.1% and demo same-store sales decreased 31%.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, the company recorded net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Fourth quarter results for each period exclude the income statement impact of One Thousand Steps in both years due to its designation as a discontinued operation during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

“I am very pleased by the continuing progress shown by our PacSun business during the fourth quarter,” commented Sally Frame Kasaks, ceo. “We completed a solid holiday season, driven by continued progress in improving our apparel business.”

Total sales for fiscal 2007 (52 weeks) ended Feb. 2vwere $1.45 billion, an increase of 0.8% over total sales of $1.44 billion during fiscal 2006 (53 weeks) ended Feb. 3, 2007.

Total company same-store sales increased 0.7% during fiscal 2007. By concept, PacSun same-store sales increased 3.4% and demo same-store sales decreased 19.6%. Due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2006, same-store sales for fiscal 2007 are compared to the 52-week period ended Feb. 3, 2007.

For fiscal 2007, the company recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $18.6 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, compared to net income from continuing operations of $43.9 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, in fiscal 2006. These fiscal year results exclude the income statement impact of One Thousand Steps in both years due to its designation as a discontinued operation during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

For fiscal 2008, the company expects a 3% to 4% increase in PacSun same-store sales. Earnings from continuing operations in fiscal 2008 are expected to be between of 73 cents and 77 cents per diluted share.

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