American Eagle to launch in the UK with three stores

Tuesday, 01 July 2014
American Eagle Outfitters, one of America’s biggest fashion retailers, has confirmed that it is launching in the UK with three stores this autumn, as part of its strategic plan to “further expand its global presence”.  The brand will open its first stores in the UK at shopping centres Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City and Bluewater in Kent. All three locations were chosen for their high footfall, Westfield in London has more than 66 million shoppers each year, while Bluewater attracts around 28 million visitors. All three stores are expected to open during autumn 2014, although there was no confirmation on which would be first.

In a statement, Simon Nankervis, executive vice-president, Americas and global country licensing at American Eagle, said there was a “tremendous global appetite” for both the American Eagle brand and its lingerie brand Aerie, which will have shop-in-shop presences in both the Westfield stores.

Bluewater co-owner Lend Lease said American Eagle had taken a 4,818 square foot unit, while the two Westfield stores are thought to be around 10,000 square foot each to include the Aerie shop-in-shop spaces.

American Eagle Outfitters confirms UK launch

Nankervis added: “We are excited to officially announce the upcoming launch of American Eagle Outfitters in the UK. We see a tremendous global appetite for both the American Eagle Outfitters and aerie brands, and believe that our presence in three of the most popular shopping destinations in England will provide great exposure for us in this significant new market.

“We are focused on profitably scaling our international growth and believe that American Eagle Outfitters will have great traction in the UK.”

Bill Giouroukos, director operations at Westfield, said: “With more than 30 American Eagle Outfitters stores already in many of our US centres including San Francisco, Century City and Garden State Plaza, we are honoured the company has chosen to open two of its first UK stores in Westfield centres."

American Eagle will be the latest in a line of US fashion chains to cross the Atlantic, J Crew and Forever 21 have both opened stores in the UK in recent years. The retailer is successful in America with 15 to 25-year-olds looking for affordable fashion; however the chain will face stiff competition from established youth fashion chains already in the UK including Topshop, New Look, Primark, H&M and Zara.

The American retailer has more than 1,000 stores in the US, Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, and through its e-commerce websites it ships to 81 countries worldwide. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise is available at 82 licensed international franchise stores in 13 countries.

Image: American Eagle

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