FINANCE

Urban Outfitters Q3 profit falls 31%

BY Staff Writer

Philadelphia — Urban Outfitters Inc.’s third-quarter profit fell 31% amid a decline in same-store sales and as merchandise markdowns continued to weigh on margins.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Urban Outfitters posted earnings of $50.7 million, down from $73.1 million in the year-ago period.

Gross margin narrowed to 35.4% from 41.1%, partly due to increased merchandise markdowns at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Total inventories grew by $78 million.

Net sales, as reported earlier, increased 6.3% to $610 million. Same-store sales were down 7%.

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REAL ESTATE

Family Dollar enters California

BY Staff Writer

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar has entered the state of California, opening four stores, in Ontario, Rialto, Riverside and Fontana.

The discounter plans to open 450-500 new stores in fiscal 2012.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart acquires Australian tech start-up

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Wal-Mart Stores has acquired Australian tech start-up Grabble for an undisclosed amount. Founded in January 2010, Grabble provides retailers a point-of-service app for purchases.

The discount giant will make the company part of its recently established Walmart Labs.

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