During a virtual meeting, American Eagle's chief financial officer Mike Mathias informed investors of the retailer's plans to rightsize its store count and capitalize on the success of its active-wear and lingerie brand Aerie. In the next two or three years, American Eagle will close 200 to 250 of its stores, mostly based in malls. American Eagle currently operates about 880 stores.
In the mean time, the retailer wants to expand Aerie's brick-and-mortar presence, aiming for a target of 500 to 600 Aerie locations by the year 2023. Mathias called the plan "a tale of two brands," highlighting the very different situations in which American Eagle and Aerie find themselves.
Investors were pleased with the plans; shares rose 3% on Thursday.
The rapid growth of the Aerie brand, which sells everything from bras and underwear to swimsuits and sweatpants, is making it a much stronger competitor to L Brands’ Victoria’s Secret business...