Urban Outfitters Inc., the hipster apparel and gifts retailer, said the threat of tariffs forced it to receive items early from suppliers last quarter, contributing to an 18 per cent jump in its inventory on the books.
The increase, by US$79.9 million, was part of a disappointing quarter with flat sales in stores open more than a year in the U.S. company’s flagship chain. Urban Outfitters shares dove 12 per cent in late trading.
The retailer said the inventory buildup was also due to expectations for sales growth in the holiday season and an increase in its wholesale business.
The results add to an ugly day for retailer stocks, with Home Depot Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. turning in sales numbers that fell short of analysts’ estimates. Investors are wary of any sign that consumers are refraining from spending heading into the crucial holiday season.