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financial

Urban Outfitters Buys Philadelphia-Area Nursery

Urban Outfitters Inc. said it agreed to acquire J. Franklin Styer Nurseries Inc., a garden center in the Philadelphia metro area, for an undisclosed price.

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Urban Outfitters Inc. said it agreed to acquire J. Franklin Styer Nurseries Inc., a garden center in the Philadelphia metro area, for an undisclosed price.

"Styer's Nursery will launch [Urban's] previously announced fourth brand, Terrain," the retailer said in a statement. "The goal of Terrain is to transform the local garden center into an experience that celebrates the beauty and abundance of nature while offering an eclectic mix of garden-inspired products tailored for the contemporary customer."

J. Franklin Styer Nurseries is one of the Philadelphia-area's oldest garden centers. The retailer's advertising slogan is "Bringing People and Plants Together." Aside from selling plants, shrubs and trees, the garden center features a coffee bar.

Richard A. Hayne, chairman and founder of Urban Outfitters, said the company looks "forward to growing Styer's existing business and integrating it into our Terrain brand. We believe Terrain at Styer's will become one of the premier contemporary garden centers in the country."

Urban Outfitters Inc. is in the midst of a turnaround, and is a top pick of Wall Street analysts. So far, the biggest strides have been seen in the Anthropologie division, which is resonating with consumers, analysts said.

John Kyees, chief financial officer of the retailer, said during a recent investor conference that the company is "the one story that is contrary to what is currently happening in retail."

As specialty apparel retailers reported lackluster holiday sales, Urban Outfitters said same-store sales for the November and December period grew 9 percent, which compares with a 5 percent decline in the same period last year.

By division, comps rose 5 percent at Urban Outfitters, and soared 16 and 17 percent at Anthropologie and Free People, respectively.