American Eagle in store expansion for Aerie, spin-off brand

Marianne Wilson
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American Eagle Outfitters passed the $1 billion mark in first-quarter revenue as business accelerated across its brands. Revenue rose 17% to $1.03 billion in the quarter ended May 1, compared to $0.89 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

Analysts had expected first-quarter revenue of $1.02 billion.  
The retailer’s intimates and loungewear brand, Aerie, remained the star of the show. Sales surged 89% to $297.48 million from $157 million in 2019.  

During its earnings call, American Eagle executives said the company plans to open approximately 60 Aerie stores and 30 Offline by Aerie stores in 2021, which will be a mix of standalones and Aerie side-by-side locations. (American Eagle launched the activewear Offline brand last summer.)

“Geographic expansion is a major priority and opportunity for Aerie,” Jennifer Foyle, chief creative officer and president, Aerie, told analysts on the call. “We opened six new stores in the quarter, including a new Offline by Aerie store, bringing our running total of Offline openings to five stores. We are very pleased with the early results.”

First-quarter revenue at the American Eagle banner increased slightly to $728 million, up from $390 million in 2020 and $724 million in 2019.

Total digital revenue increased 57%. 

The retailer posted net income of $95.5 million, or $0.46 per share, compared with a loss of $257.2 million, or $1.54 per share, a year earlier amid pandemic-related store closings. Excluding one-time adjustments, the company earned $0.48 per share, two cents higher than analysts’ expectations.

“Demand for Aerie’s product and powerful brand platform continued at a rapid pace, which drove significantly higher sales, margins, and profitability,” stated Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman and CEO. “The American Eagle initiatives to reignite the brand, optimize inventory, and reduce promotions resulted in a meaningful recovery in margins, with more runway ahead.”  

The retailer ended the quarter with 1,074 stores.