Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN), a lifestyle group based in Philadelphia, has reported a decline in sales during the 2020 holiday season due to the impact of coronavirus-related restrictions. The company experienced an 8.4% decrease in sales, with its flagship brand Urban Outfitters seeing an 8% decrease in sales. Anthropologie Group experienced a larger decline of 12%, while Free People saw a slight increase of 1%. The decline in sales can be attributed to reduced in-store foot traffic as a result of Covid-19 measures.

Despite the decrease in sales, URBN did see some positive growth in its digital channels, with increased conversion rates. However, this growth was not enough to offset the decline in in-store sales. Additionally, the company’s wholesale sales across its portfolio declined by 1%.

Looking at the 11-month period leading up to December 2020, URBN’s net sales decreased by 14.3% compared to the previous year. The comparable retail segment also saw a decline of 12% in net sales, while wholesale segment sales experienced a significant decline of 42%.

In terms of expansion and closures, URBN opened 18 new retail locations during the fiscal year but also permanently closed six stores. Additionally, six franchisee-owned stores were shuttered. Overall, URBN operates over 640 locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In addition to the sales results, URBN announced changes in its leadership team. Trish Donnelly, CEO of Urban Outfitters Group, will be leaving the company on January 31, 2021, to pursue new opportunities. Sheila Harrington, the current CEO of Free People Group, will succeed Donnelly and take on the role of CEO of Urban Outfitters. Gabrielle Conforti, the chief merchandising officer of Urban Outfitters, has been promoted to president for North America at the brand. Emma Wisden will continue in her role as managing director of Urban Outfitters Europe and will also lead the brand’s wholesale business. All three executives will report to Sheila Harrington.

URBN CEO Richard A. Hayne expressed gratitude for Trish Donnelly’s service and recognized the revenue growth achieved under her leadership. He also congratulated Sheila Harrington, Gabrielle Conforti, and Emma Wisden on their promotions and expanded responsibilities.

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