American Eagle Outfitters Success Story

Name : American Eagle Outfitters
Founded : 1977
Founder : Jerry Silverman and Mark Silverman
CEO : Jay L. Schottenstein
Industry : Fashion & Retail
Sector : Public
Country : USA
Website : ae.com

Founded in 1977, American Eagle Outfitters is a brand with their major target group between the ages 15 and 25. The company started off, focused primarily on casual and sportswear, including clothes, shoes and accessories needed for leisure wear and during sporting activities like hiking.

Setting up their outlets in malls, they did well enough to finally start off selling their own brand products at American Eagle Outfitters stores across United States and other countries. ?The company picked up sales moving up the ladder pretty fast. Within a decade they grew to 137 stores among which 37 were in the US. That was when they planned and executed some reorganizations in the management and product range which affected the company adversely during the start of 1990s.

american eagle ceo

The sales started to fall and company started to lose money. At this point Jay L. Schottenstein bought the company out fully and became the sole point of control. His plan was to make this brand a seller of signature pieces of niche clothing and accessories, which clicked and brought the company out of the debacle.

american eagle

1990s was a great time for American Eagle Outfitters with their entry into the NASDAQ. They were 167 stores strong by that time and had a very stable financial existence. With positive vibes all around about the company, they added another 90 stores almost immediately and expanded their executive team. 

american eagle outfitters headquarters

The intentions went more ambitious, they shifted the focus more on to women clothing and accessories. This strategy worked like a magic and churned out huge profits for the company, making it a $1 billion entity by the year 2000. Presently, they are spread across over 1000 store worldwide and close to 25 franchisee outlets.

ae social work

In 2006 the company started two of its sub brands to sell specific set of products under one name. One of them was Aerie , that sold lingerie and sleepwear brand for young women between 15 to 21 years. Another one named Martin + Osa, catered to the group of 30 to 40 year old males and females.

aeo jeans

Later in 2008 they went to open 77kids, an online store aimed at kids between 2 and 10 years. Martin+Osa saw its closure as quick as in 2010 owing to it huge losses. By the time they closed, the company had lost $44million to its failed attempts to make the brand a hit. American Eagle Outfitters had to face several hurdles on its way to where it is placed today. The challenges include strikes by the employees and lawsuits being thrown at them by the competitors for allegedly copying their designs. But, never did the brand let such hiccups hamper their growth or functioning and always stuck to delivering what they have gained the customer’s trust for.

Interview with AEO CEO, Jerome Schottenstein

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