March 10, 2011, 2:08 PM

E-commerce grows 34% for Urban Outfitters in its latest fiscal year

The web accounted for 32% of growth across all channels.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Total sales grew, but the web grew faster for apparel and home accessories retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. last year.

For the year ended Jan. 31, Urban Outfitters, No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide reported:

  • Web sales grew year over year 34% to $433.8 million from $323.7 million.
  • Total sales increased 17.6% to $2.27 billion from $1.93 billion.
  • Net income increased year over year 24.1% to $273 million from $219.9 million in 2009.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 19.1% of total sales in 2010 compared with 16.8% in 2009. Internet Retailer also calculates the web generated 32.4%—$110 million—of the chain’s total growth in revenue of $340 million.

“Our growth in the direct-to-consumer channel continues to outpace every other channel in the company, currently trending to double in size in less than three years,” CEO Glen Senk told Wall Street analysts on the company’s year-end earnings call. “We also continue to support the direct-to-consumer teams with a myriad of site enhancements, analytic tools and our first German- and French-language sites.”

Urban Outfitters doesn’t break out quarterly web sales, but for the fourth quarter did report:

  • Total sales increased 13.6% to $668.4 million from $588.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 2%.
  • Net income decreased year over year 3.1% to $75.2 million from $77.6 million

“Given the pace of growth in our direct-to-consumer channel, we'll continue to invest in assortment, site functionality, marketing including the database, social media, mobile and fulfillment capability,” Senk told analysts. “Our goal is to stay ahead of the consumer, ahead of what we believe is a paradigm shift in the way people are shopping.”

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