International retail invasion continues with Urban Outfitters’ online move

The flood of international retailers coming to Australia continues with Urban Outfitters Europe now shipping to Australia.

The fashion retailer introduced international shipping from its European site to 30 countries including Australia this week.

Australians could already buy online from Urban Outfitters in the United States, but there are no physical Urban Outfitter stores in Australia yet.

Urban Outfitters Europe stocks its own label women’s fashion, menswear, accessories and homewares as well as brands including Antipodum, APC, Eleven Paris, and House of Holland.

“We’re excited to offer the Urban Outfitters European Collection further afield to international markets and communicate our concept to new audiences,” Denise Fender, director of ecommerce and digital marketing for Urban Outfitters Europe, said in a statement.

The move by Urban Outfitters follows several international retailers increasing their local presence, including pure play online retailers Net-A-Porter and ASOS and brands such as Topshop which sell online and in stores.

Retail Doctor Group chief executive Brian Walker told SmartCompany at the moment the volume of online sales in Australia is the equivalent of two jumbo planes full of apparel coming in to Australia every week.

“Typically 10% of retailers business is in online sales, so if you look at Urban Outfitters Europe we are part of a global shop now and it is a matter of getting their distribution channel to our country,” he says.

“Australians are known for being pretty good early adopters, we have an appetite for online.”

Walker says offering online shipping is a way for a retailer such as Urban Outfitters to test the waters in Australia before opening bricks-and-mortar stores.

“For online businesses, when they open a physical store that is when they get serious about being in our country, and if they do that then sales are four times higher than being purely an online player,” he says.

Walker compares Urban Outfitters Europe’s move to fashion retailer Topshop, which was selling around $15 million a year in Australia online before opening its first store here.

“That is the next generation; online players opening physical stores in Australia if their online sales are warranted,” he says.



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