Urban Outfitters buys Vetri restaurant chain

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) has agreed to purchase the Vetri Family group of restaurants, including Pizzeria Vetri, with an eye to expanding the concept.

The Vetri Family group of restaurants was created and co-headed by James Beard, award-winning chef Marc Vetri, and his business partner, Jeff Benjamin. Both Vetri and Urban Outfitters are headquartered in Philadelphia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Having known Marc for almost a decade and partnered with him through his charitable foundation, we are honored to have him, Jeff and the Vetri family join the URBN team," said Richard Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters. "Spending on casual dining is expanding rapidly, and thus, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to expand the Pizzeria Vetri concept."

The idea is to use Urban Outfitters to help the restaurants expand.

"It's a perfect match," Vetri said. "Urban Outfitters and the Vetri Family share the same singular goal, we pride ourselves on bringing the best possible experience to our customers and community. Through this partnership, and the experience Urban Outfitters has in scaling growth opportunities, the Vetri Family will now be able to focus on what we do best—run restaurants that make people happy."

Urban Outfitters has been adding in-store dining options to its retail locations and lifestyle experience centers, and recently brought Vetri on board to assist in the effort. The chain's upcoming Space 24 Twenty in Austin, Texas, will be home to two or three restaurants run by Vetri and feature concepts from other well-known chefs. Vetri will also curate a lineup of food trucks in the retailer's courtyard.

The deal is part of Urban Outfitters' move to create lifestyle centers and appeal to younger shoppers. The effort is shared by other retailers and shopping center operators to create more compelling physical spaces as sales move online. Kohl's last month said it was testing in-store cafes at two locations in the Milwaukee market.

For more:
-See this Urban Outfitters press release

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