Marketing and Promotion We believe we have highly effective marketing tools in our catalogs and websites. Depreciation is typically computed using the straight-line method over five years for furniture and fixtures, the lesser of the lease term or useful life for leasehold improvements, three to ten years for other operating equipment and 39 years for buildings. The remainder is derived from the Companys Wholesale segment that manufactures and distributes apparel to the retail segment and to approximately 1,700 better specialty retailers worldwide. Results for prior periods have not been restated. Louis Nevada Henderson Las Vegas New Jersey Edgewater Princeton Short Hills Shrewsbury Woodcliff Lake New Mexico Albuquerque New York Garden City Greenvale New York Union Square SoHo Rockefeller Center White Plains North Carolina Charlotte Northlake Mall SouthPark Mall Ohio Cincinnati Columbus Woodmere Oregon Portland Tigard Pennsylvania Glen Mills Philadelphia Pittsburgh Wayne Tennessee Nashville Texas Austin Dallas Highland Park Village NorthPark Center Houston Plano San Antonio Southlake Spring Utah Salt Lake City Virginia McLean Richmond Washington Seattle Fifth Ave. We cannot assure you that we will continue to be able to compete successfully against existing or future competitors.
Comparable store net sales decreases were primarily the result of a 27 decrease in transactions, and a slight decrease in the average unit sales prices resulting from a lower response to our merchandise offerings as we adjusted to a significant shift in fashion trends. This year has also seen the opening of the first three franchisee-owned Urban Outfitters locations. As of January 31, 2008 and 2007, cash and cash equivalents included cash on hand, cash in banks and money market accounts. Anthropologie stores are typically placed in unique and non-traditional retail locations. Our Anthropologie and Free People stores also face competition from small boutiques that offer an individualized shopping experience similar to the one we strive to provide to our target customers. In the event of war or acts of terrorism, or the threat of either, we may be required to suspend operations in some or all of our stores, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Overview We operate two business segments, a lifestyle merchandising retailing segment and a wholesale apparel segment. Our first Free People retail store was opened in an enclosed shopping mall in fiscal 2003. Free People wholesale sales accounted for approximately 3% of consolidated net sales for fiscal 2004. Bodzy 55 General Counsel and Secretary Glen T. Recognizing that high rates of growth would be difficult to maintain, the company set a goal of 20 percent annual growth. Free People currently sells its merchandise under our Free People and other labels.
Anthropologie also contributed to the 19 direct-to-consumer net sales growth by increasing circulation of the Anthropologie catalog to approximately 13. Seasonality and Quarterly Results While we have been profitable in each of our last 56 operating quarters, our operating results are subject to seasonal fluctuations. There have been no changes in the Companys internal controls over financial reporting that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Companys internal controls over financial reporting. Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter Pennsylvania 23-2003332 State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization I. Our fashion decisions constitute a material risk and may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Any waivers to the code will be disclosed in a Current Report on Form 8-K. Bodzy joined Urban Outfitters as its General Counsel in December 1997 and was appointed Secretary in February 1999. The additional shares issued as a result of the stock split were distributed on September 19, 2003 to shareholders of record as of September 5, 2003. The designers will be showing their next collection on Feb.
The merchandise purchased for our United States and Canadian retail operation is shipped directly to our distribution centers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Reno, Nevada while merchandise purchased for our direct-to-consumer and wholesale operations is shipped directly to our distribution center in Edgefield County, South Carolina. The Company operates through two segments: Retail and Wholesale. This process involves estimating our actual current tax obligations together with assessing temporary differences resulting from differing treatment of certain items for tax and accounting purposes, such as depreciation of property and equipment and valuation of inventories. There is a high level of competition for personnel in the retail industry. We believe this may be caused by a combination of response to our brands fashion offerings, our web advertising, changes in circulation of our catalogs and an overall growth in brand recognition as we expand our store base.
Marlow 56 President, Urban Brand, Worldwide Robert Ross 39 Controller Freeman M. In addition to a store manager, the staff of a typical Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie store includes a visual manager, several department managers and a full and part-time sales and visual staff. We refresh this media as frequently as daily to reflect the most cutting edge changes in fashion and culture. Many of our competitors have substantially greater name recognition as well as financial, marketing and other resources. Advertising The Company expenses the costs of advertising when the advertising occurs, except for direct-to-consumer advertising, which is capitalized and amortized over its expected period of future benefit. During fiscal 2004, we did business with approximately 2,000 vendors. During fiscal 2008, Urban Outfitters catalog circulation was approximately 13 million.
The Companys management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Managements Annual Report on Internal Controls over Financial Reporting. Held-to-maturity securities represent those securities that the Company has both the intent and ability to hold to maturity and are carried at amortized cost. We believe the web site increases the reputation and recognition of the brand with its European target customers as well as helps to support our Urban Outfitters European store operations. Chinatown Georgetown Wisconsin Madison Milwaukee Canada Montréal Toronto Vancouver West Edmonton England Birmingham London Kent Kensington High St. To the extent that our vendors are located overseas or rely on overseas sources for a large portion of their products, any event causing a disruption of imports, including the imposition of import restrictions, war and acts of terrorism could adversely affect our business.
Actual results could differ from this assessment if adequate taxable income is not generated in future periods. Essential components of the ambience of each store include playing music that appeals to our target customers, using unique signage and employing a staff that understands and identifies with the target customer. We regard our marks as important to our business due to their name recognition with our customers. In order to more effectively protect them from infringement and to defend against claims of infringement, we established a separate subsidiary whose primary purpose is to maintain and manage existing and future marks, thereby increasing their value to our operating companies. We plan to decrease circulation to approximately 12 million catalogs in fiscal 2009 and replace the reduced circulation spend with investments in web marketing. In 2014 Free People China website was launched. An essential requirement for the success of our stores is our ability to attract, train and retain talented, highly motivated store managers, visual managers and other key employees.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments The Companys financial instruments consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable and accounts payable. These earnings are deemed to be permanently reinvested to finance growth programs. As with our catalog, we believe that the web site increases Anthropologies reputation and brand recognition with its target customers and helps support the strength of Anthropologies store operations. There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop and grow these or any other new concepts to a point where they will become profitable, or generate positive cash flow. We may develop new store concepts through acquisitions of which we may not be successful in integrating those acquisitions.