Urban Outfitters Just Bought a Pizza Restaurant

November 16, 2015, 7:20 PM UTC
Shoppers are pictured outside a Urban Outfitters store in Pasadena
Shoppers are pictured outside a Urban Outfitters store in Pasadena, California August 19, 2013. Urban Outfitters Inc's quarterly profit beat market estimates as its on-fashion teen apparel drew shoppers to its stores despite fewer discounts. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO) - RTX12R8V
Photograph by Mario Anzuoni — Reuters

Urban Outfitters is in the business of convincing shoppers that vinyl records and high-waisted pants are really cool again. Now, the hipster-inspired retailer is going to start selling pizza.

In one of the more unusual acquisition stories of 2015, the company behind Anthropologie, Free People, and the namesake chain is buying The Vetri Family group of restaurants, which includes the award-winning Pizzeria Vetri.

“It’s a perfect match,” says Chef Marc Vetri.

Is it? Urban Outfitters (URBN) – which generated $3.3 billion in the company’s latest fiscal year – is essentially an apparel and home goods retailer. It is mostly known for selling 80s and 90s inspired clothing and shoes, as well as furniture, light fixtures and retro trinkets. While the retailer has experimented recently with in-store coffee shops, it is not a restaurant player. The out-of-the-box deal comes after teen retailer American Eagle (AEO) also recently went beyond its comfort zone by agreeing to pay $11 million in cash and stock for Tailgate Clothing Company, which owns a vintage, sports-inspired apparel brand and a premium menswear line.

At Urban, the deal for the Vetri Family group of restaurants is a move to expand into the casual dining sector. The group was created and co-headed by Marc Vetri, who first opened his restaurant in Philadelphia (three locations exist today). Most recently, Fortune‘s sister publication Food and Wine named Pizzeria Vetri the best pizza restaurant in America.

Urban Outfitters is planning to report third-quarter results on Tuesday. Analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix expect Urban to report same-stores sales to rise 3.4% across the entire company, led by growth at Free People.


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