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Urban Outfitters Changes Top Management Personnel--Again

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Analysts are getting concerned about what seems to be a revolving door among the upper management at Urban Outfitters Inc., the company that runs Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People chains. Yesterday Business Insider reported that CFO Eric Artz was leaving his post, to be replaced by Frank Conforti. The news comes less than three months after CEO Glen T. Senk left the company to "pursue another opportunity."

According to Jefferies analyst Randal Konik:

We find it disconcerting that after just two years at the role, Mr. Artz is already stepping down as CFO. This comes on top of a slew of management changes seen at the company over the past few quarters including the prior CEO's resignation just over 2 months ago. With yet another unexpected departure we see a significant lack of continuity in management which leads to continued uncertainty around the company's direction and strategy.

For the time being, the company's stores continue to perform well. In 2011, Urban Outfitters reported that net sales rose 9 percent, to $731 million. Same-store sales rose 3 percent at Urban Outfitters, 9 percent at Free People and 1 percent at Anthropologie. The company also opened 57 new stores, including a bricks-and-mortar location for its new wedding concept BHLDN.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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