|Founded||1970 (as Free People)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Number of locations
|Richard Hayne |
(Chief executive officer)
|Owner||Richard Hayne (19.9%)|
Number of employees
Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN) is a multinational lifestyle retail corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It operates in the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Arab Emirates. The Urban Outfitters brand targets young adults with a merchandise mix of women's and men's fashion apparel, footwear, beauty and wellness products, accessories, activewear and gear, and housewares, as well as music, primarily vinyl records and cassettes. Much of the merchandise is designed and produced by the company's wholesale division on multiple private labels.
The company was founded as the retail store Free People by Richard Hayne, Judy Wicks and Scott Belair in 1970 as a project for an entrepreneurship class at University of Pennsylvania. It was renamed to Urban Outfitters and incorporated in 1976.
Urban Outfitters is a lifestyle related retailer which specializes in selling apparel, clothing accessories and apartment products. It primarily targets teens and young adults who are interested in hipster subculture and alternative fashion.
In 2007, Urban Outfitters received the National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the Urban Outfitters Corporate Office Campus located on the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
In 2011, it agreed to sell limited editions of Polaroid ONE600 instant cameras and Type 779 instant film in partnership with the Austrian entrepreneur Florian Kaps, who acquired the rights to manufacture 700 copies of the defunct product. In January 2013, it hired the Abraham & Roetzel lobbying firm, led by former Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham, to advocate on its behalf in Washington, D.C., regarding retail industry policy.
In Q4 2015, the company announced plans to acquire the Vetri Family, a Philadelphia restaurant group. As the company is facing declining same store sales and foot traffic, the acquisition illustrates the retailer's shift in strategy. This includes restaurants Amis Trattoria, Bar Amis, and Pizzeria Vetri. There are two Pizzeria Vetri locations in Philadelphia, with other locations in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.
Urban Outfitters' products have also been the subject of multiple complaints and criticism, largely from religious, ethical, and ethnic pressure groups including a local chapter of the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League and Navajo Nation for some of their products.
On November 27, 2009, URBN drew the attention of the Swedish press for denying collective bargaining rights to employees at their Stockholm store by making all 38 workers redundant and re-hiring them through employment agency Academic Work. In response to the move, ombudsman Jimmy Ekman called for tougher laws to prevent other firms denying collective bargaining rights in this way.
Urban Outfitters does not publicly disclose which factories produce the brand's clothing.