Following years of rumors and promises, the Urban Outfitters brand has officially arrived in Israel. The first store was launched today in the Big Fashion center in Ashdod, and three more stores are planned during the coming year at a total investment of NIS 20 million.
Fox-Weizel Ltd. (TASE: FOX) is responsible for bringing Urban Outfitters to Israel; it signed a 10-year franchise agreement for to establish and operate Urban Outfitters stores in Israel. In addition to Urban Outfitters, branches of the group's other brands are likely to open in the coming months.
The first store was originally planned for Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv as a replacement for the Bank Leumi branch there, but following delays in removing the bank branch, Fox decided not to wait, and to open the first store in Ashdod, an unusual step with brands of this caliber, which usually open their first store in central Israel.
Three more Urban Outfitters stores are slated for opening this year: the first on Mamilla Boulevard in Jerusalem in May, followed by a store in the Ir Yamim shopping mall in Netanya and the Dizengoff Center branch, which will be the chain's leading store. The stores will be relatively large, with 600-1,100 square meters of space.
The cost of the agreement in the first four years of the franchise is NIS 40 million. Fox also obtained a franchise to sell Urban Outfitters products in its Terminal X virtual shopping mall, which is going on the air in the coming months.
Urban Outfitters, founded in 1970, is a leading international retailer in fashion, accessories, internal decorating, etc. The chain operates in the US, Canada, and Europe under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People brands. The company operates over 500 stores and 1,400 sales points worldwide. The company's revenue totaled $3.5 billion in 2017, and its operating profit margin was 9.5%. Company headquarters is in Philadelphia.
The store is being launched at a difficult time for the fashion industry, with a transition to online shopping on international fashion websites and overseas shopping trips on the one hand and high rents in leading shopping malls on the other. Several Israeli fashion chains have recently collapsed, the largest of which is Honigman, preceded by Yafo Tel Aviv, Mish-Mish, and Celio. Negotiations are currently taking place for the sale of Honigman.
Fashion industry leaders are engaged in a head-on attack against the tax exemption on online orders of up to $75. Harel Wiezel recently told "Globes" that the minister of finance and the minister of economy and industry would find a solution that would create equality between orders from overseas and purchases in Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 27, 2018
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018