Anthropologie to Cut Catalog Circ

In reporting that its total company sales so far in fiscal 2010 are lower than the same period last year, specialty retailer Urban Outfitters said yesterday it would cut circulation for its Anthropologie by about 14%.

The apparel and home decor merchant includes the Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters brands. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will mail about 18.4 million Anthropologie catalogs in fiscal 2010, compared to around 21.5 million catalogs circulated during fiscal 2009, which ended on Jan. 31.

The Philadelphia-based mailer says it will channel the money saved from the lower circulation into Web marketing. Following the cuts, Urban Outfitters expects to keep Anthropologie’s catalog circulation consistent over the next few years.

The company plans to maintain the circulation of its six-year-old Urban Outfitters catalog this year, mailing about 12 million during fiscal 2010. And it will expand its Free People circulation from around 6.7 million catalogs in fiscal 2009 to about 7.4 million books during fiscal 2010. Free People is Urban Outfitters’ wholesale apparel segment; the Free People catalog launched in October 2005.

Urban Outfitters also said in the filing that its fiscal 2009 net sales were up 21.7% to $1.83 billion from $1.51 billion last year, fueled by a 22% increase in retail segment sales. The company’s wholesale unit contributed $16 million to the fiscal 2009 revenue. Direct-to-consumer net sales for the year were up 32.4%, and contributed about 14.9% of its consolidated net sales for fiscal 2009.

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