Urban Outfitters controls inventory, shifts to homewares

Cons. Discr. - Apparel 390 Cons. Discr. - Durables 366 Cons. Discr. - Retailing 333 Earnings 509 Quote Watch 282 U.S. 4741

Urban Outfitters reported revenues for fiscal Q3’20 (to Oct. 31) which dipped 1.8% lower year over year, slightly beating analysts’ expectations of a 5.5% decline according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The firm offset “challenging comps in the store channel” due to ongoing effects of the pandemic with improved digital sales as well as “well-controlled inventory management” which avoided the need to mark down stock according to CEO Trish Donnelly.

In terms of outlook the firm’s CFO Frank Conforti has stated “quarter-to-date, our sales are reasonably in line with where we finished the third quarter“.

The apparel retail industry more broadly may be expecting an accelerating recovery and / or be looking to rebuild inventories. Panjiva’s data shows that U.S. seaborne imports in the apparel and textiles sector increased by 10.6% year over year in the first half of November, following a 10.1% increase in October.

Apparel outpaces 2019, close to 2018 levels

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports of apparel by month.   Source: Panjiva

Imports of apparel linked to Urban Outfitters meanwhile have declined by 11.5% year over year in November after rising by 37.3% in October. That would suggest inventories are sufficiently developed for the rest of the quarter.

Donnelly also noted that the firm has seen “customers shift their attention to our home areas“. U.S. seaborne imports of textiles and homewares linked to the firm have continued to surge, rising by 168.7% year over year in the first half of November after a 79.7% increase in October.

Urban Outfitters’ expansion changes focus

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports linked to Urban Outfitters by product.   Source: Panjiva 

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