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Urban Outfitters offers mixed holiday report card

Urban Outfitters’ total holiday sales rose, fueled by strong growth at Free People. But its namesake division turned in a disappointing performance,

Total company sales for the two months ended Dec. 31 rose 2.9%.  Comparable-retail segment sales rose 3%, driven by growth online which partially offset by negative retail-store sales.

By brand, same-store sales increased 8% at Free People and 5% at the Anthropologie Group. Comparable sales fell 1% at Urban Outfitters.

The retailer said that Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters businesses were driven in part by increased promotional activity in apparel, which will put greater pressure on its fourth quarter gross profit margin than originally anticipated.  Also, wholesale segment net sales decreased 9% due to an 11% decrease in Free People, which was greater than projected. 

In addition, Urban Outfitters said that in order to meet customer delivery expectations, it spent more on delivery and logistics expenses than originally planned.

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