February 13, 2012, 11:58 AM

The direct channel grows 16% for Urban Outfitters

Direct sales, which are virtually all online, accounted for 20% of sales in 2011.

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In the end it was once again direct sales, which are virtually all online, that was Urban Outfitters Inc.’s growth channel last year.

For the year ended Jan. 31, Urban Outfitters, No. 48 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, reported:

  • · Direct sales increased 16.4% to $504.9 million from $433.8 million in 2010.
  • · Total sales increased 11.3% to $2.47 billion from $2.22 billion in 2010.
  • · Retail sales grew year over year 8.8% to $2.34 billion from $2.15 billion.
  • · Comparable-store sales decreased 4%.
  • · The retailer didn’t release figures for net income.

Direct sales accounted for 20.4% of total revenue compared with 19.5% in 2010. “The direct-to-consumer channel remains a highlight with each brand experiencing strong growth during the quarter,” says CEO Richard Hayne. “We remain especially excited about the opportunities surrounding this channel."

In the fourth quarter Urban Outfitters also reported:

  • · Direct sales increased 14.9% to $166.9 million from $145.3 million in Q4 2010.
  • · Total sales increased 9.3% to $730.6 million from $668.4 million in Q4 2010.
  • · Retail sales grew year over year 9.6% to $699.0 million from $637.7 million.
  • · Comparable-store sales decreased 1%.
  • · The retailer didn’t release figures for net income.

Direct sales accounted for 22.8% of total revenue compared with 21.7% in the prior year.

The retailer also has named Tedford Marlow CEO of its Urban Outfitters Group. Marlow is coming out of retirement to rejoin the company. He retired in 2010 after spending the previous nine years running the Urban Outfitters group. Marlow will be responsible for the Urban Outfitters brand globally, the company says.

In January Urban Outfitters replaced Glen Senk as CEO with Hayne, who also serves as chairman.

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