The president of American Eagle's explosive Aerie brand says it is defying the retail apocalypse and 'opening stores as fast as we can'

Business Insider/Jessica TylerAerie is known for its body-positive marketing.
  • American Eagle’sAerie brand has achieved explosive success in recent years.
  • On Wednesday, American Eagle reported a 14% increase in same-store sales at Aerie during the first quarter of 2019. This marked the 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit positive growth for Aerie alone.
  • On a call with investors after earnings were released, Aerie’s global brand president, Jennifer Foyle, commented on its growth and expansion plans. Aerie plans to open around 70 stores this year.
  • “We are opening stores as fast as we can,” she said. “I think if I did any more my team would keel over.”
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American Eagle is becoming a lone wolf in brick-and-mortar retail.

The teen-focused brand reported first-quarter earnings for 2019 on Wednesday. Same-store sales were up 6% overall for the quarter – American Eagle was up 4% and its Aerie brand up 14%. American Eagle’s stock price soared on the news.

The store has become somewhat of an anomaly in an otherwise fairly gloomy retail sector when it comes to brick-and-mortar players. Some of the country’s best-known apparel brands such as Gap and, to a lesser extent, Abercrombie & Fitch, reported disappointing results earlier this month and announced they are closing stores.

The scene at American Eagle is very different, however. It’s not only surviving in today’s retail environment, it’s thriving.


Read more:
We compared the shopping experience at Victoria’s Secret and Aerie, and there were 4 obvious differences

During an earnings call with investors on Wednesday, Aerie’s global brand president, Jennifer Foyle, addressed the growth of the brand and its plan to open around 70 stores this year.

“We are opening stores as fast as we can,” she said. “I think if I did any more my team would keel over.”

Aerie has achieved explosive success in recent years, and experts say this is partly because it is seen as a more relatable brand than its competitors.

In 2014, Aerie swapped its airbrushed ads for unretouched photos and launched a body-positive campaign known as #AerieReal. Female empowerment and body positivity have become its biggest weapon against brands like Victoria’s Secret.

It has also expanded from being an underwear brand into a broader lifestyle brand and started offering new collections of apparel, which now makes up a significant portion of business.

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