Retail Dish: Urban Outfitters to Buy Gourmet Pizza Chain

In Industry News, Marketing, What's New by Jeff Prine

vetriPhiladelphia—In a move to diversify that left many analysts scratching their heads in wonderment, Urban Outfitters Inc. announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all The Vetri Family group of restaurants including award winning Pizzeria Vetri.

Tremendous Opportunity?

Terms of the acquisition went undisclosed.

The Vetri Family group is run by Chef Marc Vetri who won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” in 2005. He was also named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Ten Best New Chefs,” and was the recipient of other awards and recognition.

“Having known Marc for almost a decade and partnered with him through his charitable foundation, we are honored to have him, Jeff and the Vetri family join the URBN team,” said Richard A. Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters, Inc. “Spending on casual dining is expanding rapidly, and thus, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to expand the Pizzeria Vetri concept.”

The acquisition follows Urban Outfitters’ other attempts to diversity operations. In recent years, the company created a gardening-focused offshoot named Terrain and a bridal brand called BHLDN. Home goods is an area that being expanded at its Anthropologie brand.

“It’s a perfect match,” says Partner/Chef Marc Vetri. “URBN and the Vetri Family share the same singular goal, we pride ourselves on bringing the best possible experience to our customers and community. 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.”

Urban Outfitters Inc. is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings after the markets close today. The consensus estimates call for 42 cents in earnings per share on $872 million in revenue. In the same period of the previous year, the retailer posted per-share earnings of 35 cents and $814.47 million in sales.

Shares of Urban Outfitters fell today after the acquisition announcement–a decline likely due to Wall Street’s overall worries about so far poor third quarter earnings at most retailers.