UO goes rogue with pizza chain acquisition

Shoppers are pictured outside a Urban Outfitters store in Pasadena

For over a decade, the diversification tactics of UO have been impressive, appropriate and successful. Keeping hipsters, hippies and fashionistas happy under the same virtual roof, they’ve expanded in a gardening-focused offshoot named Terrain and a wedding and luxury brand (BHLDN). These products are sold in UO retail locations, as well as their Anthropologie store chain.

Smart.

Those were rational business model expansions that fueled an increase across the board in sales, store traffic, brand popularity and stock value. The sales of UO furnishings and urban gardening alternatives rose from 15% to 48% within just 8 months during 2007. This was the same year UO received the Global Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute and launched the Terrain brand. In 2008, they took home the Best In Show and People’s Choice Award for Terrain from the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Super smart.

Urban Outfitters announced on Monday (Nov. 16) that it would be acquiring Philadelphia’s Vetri Family restaurants, including the Pizzeria Vetri chain. UO Company stock immediately dropped 7.4% and shares fell upwards of 20% in the two sessions immediately following the release. The undisclosed amount spent on this 7 restaurant acquisition (including Pizzeria Vetri, named by Food & Wine as the nation’s best pizza restaurant) is suggested to be hovering between $50 and $100 million.

Not the smartest.

Shareholders are understandably concerned and even more confused following the events of the week. UO has released several statements since Monday, boasting confidence that this acquisition, “although unique” is a “perfect match” for Urban Outfitters to gain market share as a lifestyle brand.

Strange.

The reassurance PR isn’t doing much to ease these concerns. Sales for the previous 3 quarters have fallen below projections for UO. Decreasing revenue paired with a 7 restaurant acquisition to the tune of $50-$100 million is certainly a UNIQUE decision.

Super strange.

What are your thoughts?

Is the UO #FashionablePizza

initiative brilliant beyond our current business model understanding… or a poorly disguised desperation for market diversification?

Twitter Tip Tuesday

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The following advice comes from one of my top resources, blog.rivaliq.com.

Basic and wildly beneficial tactics that you can implement in just 5 devoted minutes each day? i’ll take it.

Be sure to check out many other articles on social media, digital communications and analytic monitoring methods on blog.viraliq.com!

Is your company active on Twitter? If you answered yes, then good for you. If you answered no, then you have to get with the program! Twitter is essential to your marketing strategy. Don’t believe me? Here are some statistics and facts that will have you running to your Twitter account before you can say “follow me”.

The Numbers

  • There are 554,750,000 active users on Twitter
  • 460,000 people sign up for Twitter every day
  • There are 400 million tweets a day
  • On average, there are 9,100 tweets per second
  • 24% of people check their feed more than twice a day

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What this means to you:

From the numbers above, it’s crystal clear that a ton of people are spending a lot of time on Twitter. With such an active user base, you have the potential to market your product or service to millions of people – for free! Developing an effective Twitter outreach plan allows for an increase in brand awareness and consequently, an increase in sales. Be sure to take advantage of the millions of people in the Twitterverse – they could be dreaming of your product, but just don’t know it yet.

The Business Facts

  • 77% of top 100 companies are on Twitter
  • 70% of small businesses are on Twitter
  • 33% of Twitter users follow a brand
  • In the last two years there has been a 663% increase in users asking for business recommendations
  • 50% of shoppers have made purchases based on recommendations found through a social network
  • 79% of Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow
  • 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow

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There is a direct correlation between following on Twitter and making that cash money!

What this means to you:

These statistics are black and white – there is a direct correlation between following on Twitter and sales. If this isn’t reason enough to get active on Twitter, I’m not sure what is. If you haven’t already started coming up with a plan to increase your brand awareness on Twitter, the time to start was yesterday (but today will also do).

From the numbers above, it’s crystal clear that a ton of people are spending a lot of time on Twitter. With such an active user base, you have the potential to market your product or service to millions of people – for free! Developing an effective Twitter outreach plan allows for an increase in brand awareness and consequently, an increase in sales. Be sure to take advantage of the millions of people in the Twitterverse – they could be dreaming of your product, but just don’t know it yet.

What you should be doing

  • Twitter engagement rates for brands are highest on Saturdays and Sundays, but only 19% brand tweets happen on these days
  • Engagement is 200% higher for tweets that include image links
  • Engagement is 17% higher for tweets that contain less than 100 characters
  • The retweet rate is 86% for tweets that contain links
  • 92% of engagement with brand’s tweets come in the form of link clicks
  • Tweets that ask followers to retweet have a 12x higher retweet rate than those who don’t (but only 1% of brands actually ask)

What this means to you:

The research has been done for you. Apply the information learned from these statistics into your own Twitter strategy.

  1. Don’t neglect Twitter on the weekends – just because fewer people are working, doesn’t mean they aren’t checking their Twitter stream.
  2. Include links to images.
  3. Less is more – don’t make your tweets to long.
  4. Include links in your tweets.
  5. Don’t be shy to ask your followers to retweet.

There are many resources out there that provide great information on Twitter best practices. a thousand words”. One of the best I’ve come across is from Search Engine People. It provides statistics, best practices, and the demographics of Twitter uThis post on 10 Twitter Best Practices, by Michael Brito is a great place to start. Infographics are also a great resource for information. As the saying goes, “a picture is worthsers.

Insights, courtesy of RivalIQ (who I am an instant fan of, btw.)

Start using some of these tactics, maybe 2 a week, nothing major and see how your network worth, engagement and interactions improve. Once the results can be seen, you’ll have no problem building a Twitter profile for your business that will be a constant source of lead generation, website traffic and credible online presence.

Oh, I almost forgot the most IMPORTANT tip.

Men, women, children, horses, dentists, florists and CEO’s will flock to your twitter stream like a baby’s hand to candy after implementing this one vital strategy…

Do you want to know it?

Can you handle the truth this tip is about to unfold?

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Follow, retweet, favorite and add @gulkingazette on Twitter for an instant boom in traffic, interactions and engagement.

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Thanks for hanging out.

Be sure to leave your Twitter handle in the comments so I can follow your optimized feed!