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05/10/2021

Urban Outfitters to digitally grow Mideast presence

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Urban Outfitters is building on the success of its brick-and-mortar store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The fashion and accessories retailer is expanding upon its partnership with Azadea Group, which operates more than 40 international retail franchise concepts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The two companies, which initially collaborated in 2018 to open an Urban Outfitters store at the Dubai Mall in the UAE, will now digitally launch the Urban Outfitters brand online across the MENA region.

Urban Outfitters is digitally expanding its presence in the MENA region on the heels of tough 2020 holiday sales and the departure of its former CEO Trish Donnelly. Total company sales during the two-month 2020 holiday period fell 8.4% (including an 8% drop at flagship brand Urban Outfitters) and comparable sales declined 9% amid pandemic-related declines in store traffic. However, e-commerce was a bright spot, with the retailer experiencing strong double-digit growth in the digital channel.

Urban Outfitters operates in 15 countries, under banners including Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, and Terrain. Azadea collaborates with global brands including Virgin Megastore, Adidas, and Decathlon.