It has been two years since Emma Wisden left Arcadia after a 16-year stint as fashion director of Topshop to join Urban Outfitters as its European managing director. This year, she has sought to refine and amplify the retailer’s offering, including a focused investment in improving its bricks-and-mortar stores, attracting young talent and developing its digital strategy – including the launch of its UO Rewards app in April.
However, it has not all been smooth sailing. Net sales at Urban Outfitters and sister retailer Anthropologie dropped by 2% to $873m (£679m) in the three months to 30 June, compared with the previous year. It said this was driven by higher markdowns as a result of underperforming women’s apparel and accessories product.