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Urban Outfitters is spicing up its offering

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Urban Outfitters has done some early Christmas shopping and announced a decision to acquire the Vetri Family Group, a Philadelphia-based Italian restaurant chain. 

Because hipsters like pizza right? 

In justifying the diversification move, Urban Outfitters boss Richard Hayne said "Spending on casual dining is expanding rapidly, and thus, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to expand the Pizzeria Vetri concept." 

"I think there's a craving for real socialization beyond social media," said Dave Ziel, Chief Development officer at the American clothing chain. 

In a statement Marc Fetri, who founded the Vetri Family group of restaurants, said the pair were a "perfect match" and that the two companies "share the same singular goal".  

"We pride ourselves on bringing the best possible experience to our customers and community,” Vetri said. 

"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.” 

For the most part, shareholders have been left unsettled. Shares in US retail giant URBN, the parent company of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie and Free People, plunged over 10% off the back of its somewhat random decision.  

But while the majority are baffled, URBN’s plan is simply a fresh twist on what retailers all over the world are doing: reinvigorating their brand. As consumers shift to online shopping, there needs to be a reason to visit the store again. What better way to attract customers and drive footfall, than partner with a business that is experiencing improving economics? 

Published on Tuesday 17 November by Veebs Sabharwal

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