Urban Outfitters closing South Carolina e-commerce warehouse

Urban Outfitters’ downtown Charleston shop is in a former theater at 371 King St.

Specialty retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. said Monday it’s closing its South Carolina e-commerce distribution center and moving it back to Pennsylvania to be closer to more of its customers.

The new online sales warehouse west of Philadelphia is expected to be completed by July.

The 459,000-square-foot site to be closed is in Trenton, north of Aiken. The number of affacted employees was not immediately available. The retail chain is one of the largest employers in Edgefield County, according to a local media report earlier this month.

CEO Richard A. Hayne said Monday that the workforce at the Trenton warehouse “has provided key support for our exceptional direct and wholesale growth” since 2006, and the company hopes “many will decide to stay with the company” when it moves to Gap, Pa., in Lancaster County.

The company already owns a 291,000 square foot distribution center in that area.

“As online sales continue to surge, our new facility places us in closer proximity to a large percentage of our direct customers and allows us to service them faster and more efficiently,” Hayne said in a statement.

When the company announced the Trenton distribution center in mid-2005, it said it was moving that operation south from Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters is a lifestyle specialty retail company operating under its namesake brand as well as Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People and Terrain.

Anthropologie has four South Carolina stores, in downtown Charleston. Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

Urban Outfitters has locations in the state, on King Street in Charleston and in Columbia.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.