Urban Outfitters Ends Controversial Employee Policy Amid Government Pressure


Urban Outfitters is the latest retailer to end the controversial policy of on-call scheduling — at least in New York state. Announcing the change on his website, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said Urban has promised to provide employees with their schedules at least one week prior to the start of the workweek, rather than making some stay “on call.” Other big-name retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, Starbucks, Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works have also done away with the practice in certain parts of the country.

On-call scheduling has grown in popularity among retailers who have used new technology to help determine when stores will be flooded with customers and need more staff. But that means workers have to be on-call — making it difficult to schedule activities in their off time and forcing some to find child care or elder care with very little notice. Read more »

Meet the Four Locals Even Richer Than Brian Roberts

From left: Mary Alice Dorrance Malone (Campbell Soup photo); Michael Rubin (Undercover Boss screenshot); John Middleton (AP Photo/Matt Rourke); Richard Yuengling, Jr. (Yuengling publicity photo)

From left: Mary Alice Dorrance Malone (Campbell Soup photo); Michael Rubin (Undercover Boss screenshot); John Middleton (AP Photo/Matt Rourke); Richard Yuengling, Jr. (Yuengling publicity photo)

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is really, really rich. But he’s not rich enough to make the just-released Forbes 400 list, a ranking of America’s richest people. Read more »

Market Report: How to Remove Lipstick Stains From Everything


Great on lips; bad on clothing. | Shutterstock.

  • It’s just about time to break out the fall lip colors, but this season you don’t have to worry about vampy burgundy stains ruining your clothing thanks to this guide to removing lipstick from anything (including your lips  –  we know the struggle). [Into The Gloss]
  • No idea what to wear to that August backyard wedding? Check out this cheat sheet for decoding dress code jargon and never be underdressed again. [Purewow]

  • After a few slumpy quarters, Urban Outfitters is reporting record sales despite backlash from minority groups. The interesting part? This is all thanks to Free People. (See more on that below.) [BizPhilly]

Read more »

Urban Outfitters Reports Record Sales


Urban Outfitters posted record second-quarter sales and earnings beat expectations.

The Philly-retailer reported sales of $867 million — a 7 percent increase and the company’s highest second-quarter ever. Net sales increased 14 percent at Free People ($154 million), 4 percent at Urban Outfitters ($342 million) and 2 percent at the Anthropologie Group ($370 million). It saw a net increase of four stores and a 21 percent growth in wholesale sales. Read more »

Urban Outfitters Is in Hot Water for Offending Hindus — Again


While Urban comes under fire, Target slides under the radar. | Image via Target.com.


Urban Outfitters is in the headlines again, this time for offending Hindus by selling a ceramic jewelry stand in the shape of a Hindu goddess. As the Philadelphia Business Journal noted, this is the third time Urban has pissed off Hindus (the previous times were for using the likeness of deity Lord Ganesha on very un-divine things like socks and duvet covers). According to the Journal, the company pulled the jewelry stand from its website after Twitter complaints by Rajan Zed, the president of Universal Society of Hinduism.

But while Urban seems to find itself time and time again at the blistering center of these firestorms (neck and neck with American Apparel, which clings to headlines with pubic-haired mannequins), it’s not for lack of trying by other companies. Over at Target, there’s this “Hot Now Ganesha Throw.”  Walmart sells this $39.99 Ganesha vinyl wall decal. Here’s a Ganesha dog tag. So why aren’t people up in arms about these?  Read more »

#UrbanOutfittersBeLike is Publicly Shaming High Prices

Poor Urban Outfitters...

Poor Urban Outfitters…

Urban Outfitters is feeling the heat on Twitter over high prices. Armed with #UrbanOutfittersBeLike, people are berating the Philly-based retail giant over high prices.

It’s hardly the first time the Twitterverse has turned on Urban, which has long been the subject of ridicule for its offensive items — like the bloody Kent State sweatshirt, the Depression T-shirt or the Ghettopoly board game. The backlash seemed to have started when @wholeyattamoney tweeted this about Urban Outfitters’ $8 hair ties. Read more »

The 6 Most Ridiculous Things in Free People’s Home Collection (Including a $68 Stick)


These sticks are for sale. | Free People.

Every summer, my style veers off into bohemia, probably the last vestiges of my semi-hippie college self. It’s when I wear the two Free People items of clothing I own — a high-neck, sheer wisp of a dress and a lacy slip I layer with everything. But even though I can appreciate the store’s dreamy, summer-perfect clothes, I cannot forgive them their absolutely insane home collection, which seems like a huge joke they’re playing on us, laughing in their Navy Yard offices while we spend $28 on a bag of nails. Here are the six most ridiculous items in their decor lineup.  Read more »

Vetri Looking to Expand to Devon and Beyond

pizzeria-vetri-940It’s been clear since the get go that Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin and the rest of the Vetri Family team planned to expand their Pizzeria Vetri concept beyond Philadelphia. And now through their connections with Urban Outfitters, they’ve locked up their first out-of-market location. Benjamin tells Danya Heninger for Billy Penn that the Pizzeria Vetri will be opening next to an Austin Urban Outfitters.

Closer to home, Vetri’s restaurants could become part of Urban Outfitters’ lifestyle village in Devon. That project is slated to include an Urban Outfitters store plus a Terrain and Anthropologie, as well as 138-unit apartment building and restaurants. Though the deal isn’t finalized, Benjamin tells Heninger that there will likely be more than one Vetri Family restaurant in the Devon Yard project.

Pizzeria Vetri reveals big expansion: With Urban Outfitters’ help, to Austin and beyond [Billy Penn]
Pizzeria Vetri [Foobooz]

Retail News: Urban Outfitters “Lifestyle Village” Project is Revived

An artist's rendering of preliminary plans for Urban Outfitters' $100 million Devon Yard complex, as viewed from the northeast. (Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters)

A 2013 rendering of URBN’s plans for the Devon Yard complex. | Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Remember that Devon Yard project, URBN’s cool-kid answer to the strip mall? A brief run-down: Urban Outfitters’ parent company announced it was building a $100 million complex, complete with Terrain and Anthropologie outposts, restaurants, some sort of wellness facility, a boutique hotel and a specialty food market. Everyone got very excited and then … silence.

Finally, though, we’re seeing some signs of life on that “lifestyle village.” Last week, our sister blog Property reported that the project’s developers have sought a zoning code amendment, which is a small but crucial step in getting Devon Yard off the ground. Go here to see the plans for the village. (A note: The plans includes apartments, in case you’ve ever wanted to actually live inside Terrain/Anthro).

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