Pret-a-Reporter

Urban Outfitters Acquires Pizza Chain In Effort to Diversify and Retain Cool

Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA/ AP Images
Urban Outfitters

The kids are still into pizza, right?

URBN Inc., parent company of Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropologie, has a coy solution for luring aspiring teenage hipsters back into its open arms: Pizza. That's right, the clothing company now wants to sell you the 'za. 

WWD reports that URBN Inc. has acquired Philadelphia-based chain Pizzeria Vetri in an attempt to diversify. As restaurant spending continues to grow through 2015, the new partnership is a means of capitalizing on this boom — particularly as retail spending on the whole continues to slip. Especially among higher-priced stores like those in URBN's repertoire, sales have slumped thanks to fast-fashion competition from the likes of H&M and Forever21. (Asking URBN employees to work for free didn't exactly fix the problems, either.)

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Investors, however, seem to be wary of the partnership. In the wake of the news, stocks for the company slipped 4 percent, leading some to suspect that — although it's a rare occasion — pizza isn't always the solution. 

Though some Urban Outfitters locations have in-store cafes (like at Herald Square), it appears that the pizza restaurants will remain separate from the stores. Says co-owner and chef Marc Vetri, "Through this partnership, and the experience URBN has in scaling growth opportunities, the Vetri Family will now be able to focus on what we do best — run restaurants that make people happy."

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