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Urban Outfitters parent pursues AI-based merchandising

Urban Outfitters storefront
Urban Outfitters is applying AI to merchandise planning.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN) is deploying an artificial intelligence (AI)-based merchandise planning platform.

The parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, FP Movement, Anthropologie Weddings, Terrain, Menus & Venues, and Nuuly will implement o9's AI-equipped  merchandise planning solution, consisting of merchandise financial planning, assortment planning, demand planning, allocation and replenishing capabilities.

With the deployment, Urban Outfitters will be able to optimize decision-making by being able to more quickly adapt to trends, seasonality, stock positions, promotions and the unique demand drivers of the different banners in its portfolio. This will include determining the optimal product mix across channels, regions and stores.

In addition, Urban Outfitters intends to integrate predictive analytics, assumptions visibility and collaboration; as well as utilize advanced allocation and replenishment optimization techniques to proactively position inventory to better meet consumer demand. 

“To position URBN for long-term sustainable and profitable growth, we embarked on an extensive review of the retail software market to digitally transform our end-to-end merchandising strategy,” said Rob Frieman, CIO, URBN. “It’s clear that o9 is a solution leader in fashion apparel planning. We look forward to working with o9’s superior technology and highly knowledgeable and experienced team to ensure we continue to meet the demand of our customers and grow market share across all of our brands,” 

Urban Outfitters Inc. expands rental fulfillment network

In other supply chain activities, Urban Outfitters Inc. plans to open a fulfillment center in Raymore, Mo., pending completion of all state and local approvals and agreements. The new 604,000 sq. ft. facility will be used for the retailer’s apparel rental brand, Nuuly.

Launched in 2019, Nuuly is a subscription rental service for women’s apparel, with an assortment that includes 15,000-plus styles from more than 300 designer and contemporary brands. In fall 2022, the brand launched Nuuly Thrift, a resale marketplace for consumers to buy or sell secondhand women's, men's and kids' apparel and accessories.

The planned facility represents $60 million in capital investment and is expected to create 750 jobs within five years in the Kansas City region.

Based in Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters Inc.’s brand portfolio includes Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, FP Movement, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly and Menus & Venues brands. The company operates 644 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe, global websites, and catalogs. In addition, Free People, FP Movement and Urban Outfitters wholesale sell their products through department and specialty stores worldwide.

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