Urban Outfitters' (NASDAQ:URBN) fourth-quarter sales release gave me a slight case of deja vu, since the hip retailer reported its holiday sales last month. But although the trends remain the same, it's still worth taking a look at the latest numbers.

The retailer's total sales increased 13% for the quarter to $360.8 million, with total same-store sales across its brands down 5%. Urban Outfitters' comps decreased 4%, Anthropologie's dropped 7%, and Free People's increased 4%. Direct-to-consumer sales increased 23%, while Free People Wholesale revenues jumped 29%.

I doubt that these figures are any surprise to anyone who looked at Urban Outfitters' holiday sales data. However, it's worthwhile to note that Urban Outfitters' sales number for the fourth quarter did beat analysts' consensus estimate by $2.8 million.

Urban Outfitters' sales for the year increased 12% to $1.22 billion, and total comps for the year decreased by 6%, compared with an 11% increase the year before.

After acknowledging the continuation of the holiday sales trends, Chairman and President Richard Hayne said in the related press release, "Entering the new year with leaner and fresher inventory relative to last year, we believe we have opportunity to improve both sales and operating margin performance in the first quarter." Not that I'm always so enamored with canned statements in press releases, but when it comes to that one, investors are definitely counting on it.

There's certainly something to be said for a retailer pushing out the merchandise that didn't resonate with customers and having fresh wares available that (hopefully) will sell through at full price. I recently took a look at comments from another retailer, Chico's (NYSE:CHS), at a recent analyst convention, and it, too, had a tough year in 2006 and has its eye on starting fresh. "Out with the old, in with the new" is definitely better than letting tired, old, unappealing merchandise clutter up stores like frumpy ghosts of Christmas past.

I've remained upbeat about Urban Outfitters despite the difficult past year. Given its differentiated brands, I don't think it has too much to fear from retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters (NASDAQ:AEOS) or Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), much less long-term struggler Gap (NYSE:GPS), although maybe it has a bit more to worry about from Target's (NYSE:TGT) cheap chic or American Apparel's edgy brand, which also targets young, urban types. Regardless, though, I'd say Urban Outfitters' brands have remained strong despite the tough year and that as long as it gets merchandise back in tune with customers, given the recent shift in fashion, it's got great growth potential ahead. And considering Urban Outfitters' historically strong performance, that doesn't seem like a tall order.

When it comes to "the new," though, we've still got a while to wait; there's not much to see here. Urban Outfitters reports fourth-quarter earnings on March 8. Investors will have much more to contemplate then.

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Alyce Lomax owns shares of Urban Outfitters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.