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Urban Outfitters Whisper

Research Question: Is Urban Outfitters successfully appealing to a broader demographic with new on-trend designs?

Company: Urban Outfitters (URBN)


Blueshift’s initial research on Urban Outfitters shows Urban’s increasing appeal across a more diverse customer base and more on-trend apparel, but looming threats from competitors.


  1. A Blueshift primary interview with a retail and fashion industry specialist indicated that Urban Outfitters is effectively appealing to a broader demographic, including inner city youth.  He compared Urban’s success in appealing to this consumer segment to that of mall retailer Zumiez.
  2. Two Blueshift primary interviews with mid-20s women indicate Urban Outfitters has recently been offering more trendy/hip products. However, despite Urban’s new offerings, they still prefer shopping at lower-cost alternatives, particularly H&M.
  3. Increasing competition from similarly priced, more fashionable alternatives such as British fashion lines TopMan and TopShop, which will soon be available at Nordstrom, and the west coast expansion of Japan’s UNIQLO brand, could hamper Urban’s sales and demographic expansion efforts.
To gauge whether Urban Outfitters will gain traction among a larger customer base and the reaction to its trendy fashions during back-to-school season, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from sources in the following areas: store personnel at Urban Outfitters locations, customers, suppliers, competitors and industry specialists.