Urban Outfitters has joined the ranks of retail brands fallen from consumers’ good graces, as covered by Racked. The brand has neglected to adapt to shifts in consumer preferences, namely the move from in-store to online shopping as well as the increasing value placed on cheap pricing models. Urban Outfitters has also had issues with a lack of authenticity, over-pricing, and insensitivity brought on by products such as a tasteless Kent State shirt they produced that featured blood stains.
The biggest issue for Urban Outfitters has been the lack of diversity on their board, which is essentially a boys’ club. Not only is the lack of diversity itself an issue, but Urban Outfitters has neglected to make any changes and insists their board is sufficiently diverse. Vivaldi Engagement Manager Gesina Gudehus-Wittern spoke to the threat that this type of insensitivity can pose: “Imagine a toy brand with a history of safety issues being exposed as having no parents on its board. That’s not exactly a winning combination. You’d be hard-pressed to find many parents still compelled to buy from them anymore – let alone anyone to buy their stock.” Urban Outfitters is in a position where, in order to find success again, it must be critical of itself and adapt to the needs of the consumers who purchase their products.