Urban Outfitters exec: We’re an ecommerce company

For Urban Outfitters, the transformation, if you will, is complete. We list some of the changes that point to Urban Outfitters' new image as an ecommerce company.

Urban Outfitters HQ.

(Photo by Neal Santos)

Full Disclosure: Urban Outfitters was a sponsor of Philly Tech Week 2013.

For Urban Outfitters, the transformation from retail store that also sells online to online brand that happens to also have a physical presence is complete.

The 42-year-old retailer headquartered at the Navy Yard thinks of itself as primarily an ecommerce company with 500 or so brick and mortar stores, chief strategy officer Michael Kaness has said.

Here are some of the changes that point to Urban Outfitters’ new image:

  • Last October, the company said it would never buy a cash register again.
  • The company aims to have half of its sales be online-only in next five years, it said last fall. As of September 2013, ecommerce was nearly one-quarter of its $2.5 billion company’s annual revenue.
  • The company’s online sales have been rising. In its most recent quarter, online sales were up 40 percent since the same quarter last year, Business Insider reported.
  • Urban is opening fewer brick and mortar stores to cut costs.
  • The company is opening a 1.2 million square foot distribution center in Lancaster to accommodate growing online and catalog sales.
  • Urban’s latest app features social photo sharing and free shipping on sales through the app, Business Insider reported. Free People, another Urban brand, offers the same free shipping deal for new customers on its app, as well as a social photo sharing network that had more than 10,000 photos uploaded as of May 2013.


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