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Urban Outfitters goes geek to stay cool


Urban Outfitters Inc. offers what can appear to be a random and eclectic variety of products on its shelves, but careful planning goes into the specialty chain’s store assortment.

Operating more than 500 stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN banners worldwide, Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters is removing guesswork from the complex and distributed merchandise planning and allocation process. The retailer is partnering with predictive analytics platform provider Celect to leverage customer data for optimized in-store assortment planning.

Leveraging Celect technology, Urban Outfitters is able to apply advanced machine learning and predictive analytics at scale to merchandise planning and allocation. This allows the retailer to uncover highly targeted and localized consumer preferences that support better buying and allocation decisions. Thus Urban Outfitters can ensure the assortment at each store best reflects the current wants and needs of its most frequent shoppers. In other words, it keeps things cool.

"The Urban Outfitters brands have a long history of providing our customers with unique and compelling product assortments,” said David Hayne, COO at Free People. “This partnership will highlight ways in which we can please our customer more."

Having the right products on the shelf is important for any brick-and-mortar retailer. For a niche retailer like Urban Outfitters, which offers trendy pop culture and novelty items along with apparel and accessories aimed at fickle millennial shoppers, achieving the right store assortment is an even greater challenge with more reward.

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