Image via iStock
At the beginning of the month, an Urban Outfitters investor group came down hard on the retailer’s board for “extreme insularity” and urged shareholders to shake things up by voting against the re-election of Robert H. Strouse and Harry Cherken Jr.—two of the company’s long-tenured directors.
That vote took place last week and outside investors mostly heeded the recommendation of CtW Investment Group, though their votes weren’t enough to unseat the directors. About 30.5 percent of outside shareholders voted to oppose the re-election of Strouse, and 64.5 percent of outside shareholders voted against Cherken.
According to CtW, which serves as a union pension fund advisor and regularly addresses corporate governance matters, the level of opposition is significant. In the past both Strouse and Cherken received only 11 percent and 38 percent opposition in 2016 and 21 percent and 40 percent opposition in 2015, respectively.
“This is a clear vote of no confidence in the board’s composition and the company’s broken nomination process,” said CtW executive director Dieter Waizenegger. Read more »
Image via Flickr.
Urban Outfitters, a company that’s largely riding on revenue from women’s apparel, has a board that’s mostly made up of white men with law degrees and finance backgrounds.
One of the company’s investor groups, CtW Investment Group, made this point when it criticized the retailer for a board that breeds “extreme insularity,” Bloomberg reported.
CtW recently sent a letter to shareholders to recommend that they vote against the re-election of Robert Strouse and Harry Cherken Jr., two board members who have been in the role for quite some time. Urban Outfitters’ board members have an average tenure of 19 years. In the letter, CtW points out that 19 years is about 10 years longer than the average for companies in the S&P mid-cap index, which Urban Outfitters was recently demoted to.
The retailer’s nine-member board consists of two women — Margaret Hayne and Elizabeth Ann Lambert. Hayne, on the board the since 2013, is both the CEO of Free People, an Urban subsidiary, and Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne’s wife. In 2014, Lambert, a principal and manager at Bunkhouse Group, became the company’s first female outside director after much prodding from shareholders. At the time, the retailer actually expanded its board to eight members to include Lambert. Read more »
Screenshot of Free People website.
Urban Outfitters has been hit with yet another trademark infringement lawsuit. This time it’s the popular Coachella music festival that’s demanding that the Philly clothier cease and desist.
The Southern California festival and its promoter, Goldenvoice, say that Urban Outfitters won’t stop adding “Coachella” to the branding of some of its apparel and accessories. Read more »
About a week after CEO Richard Hayne criticized the state of the retail landscape, his company Urban Outfitters has been dropped from the S&P 500.
The S&P 500 raised its market cap guidelines last week. Effective March 20th, stocks included in the S&P 500 must now have a total value of at least $6.1 billion, a 15% increase from the previous $5.3 billion requirement. This means that Urban Outfitters will now be relegated to the stock index’s MidCap 400, which includes companies with a market cap between $1.6 billion to $6.8 billion. The Navy Yard-based retailer has a market cap of $2.77 billion. Read more »
Last week, we told you about a controversial flex-time policy change at Urban Outfitters that had outraged some of the parents who worked there. The one part of the story that had us the most perplexed was this: The employees we spoke with all claimed that Urban Outfitters does not have a human resources department for them to go to with their complaints. Read more »
After reporting lower-than-estimated fourth quarter earnings, Urban Outfitters shares dropped more than eight percent on Wednesday and CEO Richard Hayne says the dire state of the retail landscape is to blame.
On this week’s earnings call, Hayne said the U.S. market is oversaturated with retail stores and too much of the space is taken up by stores selling apparel.
“Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble. And like housing, that bubble has now burst,” he said. Read more »
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To outsiders, the headquarters of Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia might seem like a great place to work. Employees at many of the Urban buildings down at the Navy Yard are allowed to bring their dogs to the office. Urban will give you a bike light and helmet if you pedal to work. And having an on-campus gym and top-notch cafeteria doesn’t hurt one bit. But women who work there say it’s not so great thanks to a new policy that they believe discriminates against working mothers. Read more »
Sal’s meatballs at Amis | Photo via Amis
So word went out this morning that Marc Vetri, Brad Spence and their Urban Outfitters partners were planning a second location for Amis–the successful, Roman-style Italian restaurant on 13th Street that was part of the package of restaurants that Vetri sold to Urban in 2015.
Unfortunately, it’s gonna be a little bit of a drive if you want to check it out because they’re opening it in Westport, Connecticut.
Read more »
An old screenshot showing one of the Urban Outfitters “Navajo” items in question. The site no longer sells anything bearing the name “Navajo.”
Shoppers may be able to buy Navajo Nation-inspired merchandise at Urban Outfitters in the future, but this time around, the items will be the real deal.
Last week, the Navajo Nation and Urban Outfitters reached a settlement in the tribe’s four-year-old trademark infringement lawsuit against the South Philadelphia-based retailer.
While the terms of the settlement are undisclosed, a release stated that the parties entered into a supply and license agreement and plan to collaborate on authentic American Indian jewelry in the future, according to the Farmington Daily Times of New Mexico, where the case was decided.
Key word there is “authentic.” The tribe filed the lawsuit in 2012 after Urban Outfitters debuted a line of 21 items that were labeled “Navajo” or had Navajo-inspired designs. The infamous Navajo hipster panty, a Navajo print fabric-wrapped flask, and a peace treaty feather necklace (cringe, cringe, cringe), were all items that the Nation said damaged their government and commercial entities because they falsely suggested that the items were the product of the sovereign Navajo Nation.
Read more »
Pizzeria Vetri Square Pie
The Pizzeria Vetri that’s opening at the confluence of the Urban Outfitters brands at the King of Prussia Mall will be different than the other Pizzeria Vetri locations out there. It will be known as Pizzeria Vetri Square Pie and will specialize in pizza al taglio, Vetri’s take on the thicker, square traditional Roman pizzas. Additionally there will be a whole menu of Pizzeria Vetri’s rotolos, stuffed and rolled pizza dough, plus a selection of seasonal desserts.
The new menu will also include dessert pizzettes, including an apple pie crumble variation and a Southern-inspired gelato created in collaboration with chef Kevin Sbraga, exclusive to the King of Prussia location. The Pizzeria Square Pie will also offer wine and beer and will offer counter service and a seating area for 60 diners.
The Pizzeria Vetri Square Pie will be part of the Urban Outfitters destination at the mall, which will include an UO, Anthropologie and Free People. Pizzeria Vetri Square Pie is scheduled to open on Friday, October 14th.
In other Pizzeria Vetri news »