State of the flowiness: Anthropologie store sales strong

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The last thing any Anthropologie fans want to hear about are stores closing. The economy is in a rough patch right now but luckily Anthropologie seems to be doing fine.

From a 10/25/2008 Associated Press article (via Forbes):

NEW YORK - Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. rose Tuesday amid a broader market rally as one analyst said the apparel retailer's core namesake stores remain strong.

In a note to investors, William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia said investor concern about slowing sales trends at the Philadelphia company's Anthropologie stores has overshadowed the strength at Urban Outfitters (nasdaq: URBN) stores, which offer lower prices than Anthropologie.

Urban Outfitters, which Zackfia rates "Outperform," does not report monthly same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric. But in August the company said second-quarter same-store sales rose 13 percent, including a 19 percent rise at Urban Outfitters stores and a 7 percent rise at Anthropologie stores. Same-store sales at its Free People stores rose 10 percent.

"We have noted increased markdowns at Anthropologie in the third quarter, likely indicating that sales have slowed from the second quarter's 7 percent same-store sales clip," Zackfia wrote. "That said, Anthropologie's markdown levels still look relatively well controlled, and we continue to believe (same-store sales) remain solidly positive while well-outperforming peers."

Meanwhile, at Urban Outfitters, momentum likely remains solid, she said, and markdowns have actually decreased.

"We believe the concept's core 18- to 30-year-old customer base has been relatively unaffected by the recent fallout in the financial markets, while the pullback in gas prices may have proved a nice positive," she wrote.

Urban Outfitters shares rose $2.63, or 14.1 percent, to close at $21.24. The broader market surged higher, with the Dow Jones Industrials closing up 889 points.

I have noticed that items are quicker to go to the sales rack these days but that seems to be the story at every store. It's nice to see that sales were up for the quarter.