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Urban Outfitters paints a downbeat picture

It’s US retailer results season at the moment and Urban Outfitters continues to paint a downbeat picture of the sales environment despite actually outperforming the market’s expectations for comparable sales this quarter.

One interesting initiative that it is about to embark on is clothes rental under its Nuuly brand where customers pay $88 a month to borrow six items which they then return in exchange for more.

Customers have the option to buy items outright and the hope is that this new business will stimulate existing customers to buy more AND attract new ones at the same time.

The apparel rental market is thought to be a fast-growing sector at the moment and so it’s interesting to see Urban Outfitters trying to get on the trend.

At the moment, I think that this sounds like an interesting idea but I think that the company will have to be very careful how it scales this up as I suspect that it could be open to abuse, which could result in massive costs.

Jamie Oliver’s restaurants

The second thing I wanted to talk about today was the spectacular failure of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants.

All but three of his Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen restaurants have been shut down with 1,000 immediate job losses.

It is a sad end to an adventure that started with great promise but, despite Oliver injecting £12.6m of his own cash into the business, it has now come to this.

Local authorities in Glasgow, Cambridge, Cardiff, Exeter and Oxford will lose out as landlords as will Shaftesbury, Hammerson and Land Securities.

Everyone will now be trying to guess who will be the next chain to suffer from over-expansion, the rise of the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat as well as the fiercely competitive environment.

There are plenty to choose from and troubled names include Carluccio’s, Giraffe, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byron Burgers and Prezzo.

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Peter Watson

Peter Watson founded Seiha Consulting, a career transition consultancy, after working in HR and four recruitment agencies. He was also a stockbroker for 13 years in London and Tokyo, advising some of the world’s biggest financial institutions on European and Japanese stock market investment. He started writing the Daily (previously known as “Watson’s WIFI”) to help candidates prepare for interviews – but soon found that many others wanted to read it as well!

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