American Eagle Outfitters is a casual apparel designer that targets teens and young adults. It is a private label store, employing its own designers to produce quality clothing at an affordable price. Additionally, there are coupons and promotions available, as well as an American Eagle rewards program. This company has undergone many transformations, starting out in the seventies as an outdoor gear and clothing store geared specifically for young men. Today it sells clothing to both young men and young women all over North America, and is now opening stores worldwide. The AE slogan, “Live Your Life,” along with the well-known flying eagle logo, are a common sight in malls and shopping centers everywhere.
About American Eagle Outfitters
American Eagle Outfitters, or AEO, opened its first store in 1977. Owned by Mark and Jerry Silverman, American Eagle was a subsidiary of Retail Ventures, Inc., which also owned Silverman’s Menswear. AEO would sell outdoor-oriented clothing and gear to young men, as opposed to the dressier and more professional style clothing of Silverman’s Menswear. The Silverman brothers, who were the third generation of Silvermans involved in the business, sold 50% of their interest in the company to the Schottenstein family in 1980. AEO specialized in brand-name merchandise and was competing with Lands End and L.L. Bean for the young, male, outdoor and sports apparel market. Meanwhile, competition from discount stores had made the brand named items less profitable for AE. In 1991, the Silvermans sold the rest of their shares to the Schottenstein family, who took American Eagle public in 1994. By this time, AEO had hired in-house designers and had developed private labels targeting teens and young adults. They made the decision to sell more women’s apparel in 1996, while continuing to target the youth and young adult demographic. Thus, American Eagle Outfitters evolved from an outdoor clothing store for men into a casual clothing store for young adults.
By the year 2000, AEO had signed to provide the costumes for the teen-themed television show Dawson Creek, as well as various teen-oriented movies and the 10th anniversary season of the MTV reality show, Road Rules. A deal with Dimension Films made AE the provider of clothing for no fewer than four of Dimension’s teen films. The company also launched an AE “magalog,” which is a combination magazine and catalogue. It is a catalogue for AEO products that also contains feature stories, movie and music reviews, horoscopes, and advice columns. It is a lifestyle magazine promoting American Eagle’s outdoors-centered active wear.
American Eagle targets teens and young adults, primarily in the United States and Canada. They recently opened their first store outside of North America at Mirdif City Centre in the United Arab Emirates. AEO primarily operates in malls and shopping centers, as opposed to stand-alone stores.
American Eagle Outfitter’s primary competitors are stores like The Gap, Eddie Bauer, Hollister, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Abercrombie & Fitch sued AEO several times, claiming that they were copying Abercrombie & Fitch’s catalogue and designs. Each time, the judge ruled in favor of American Eagle.
AEO styles itself as a cost-effective choice, combining well-made clothing with more affordable prices than its competitors. American Eagle shops are usually bright and well-lit, with white shelves. Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch stores tend to be dark with dramatic lighting. AEO, Hollister, and Abercrombie & Fitch target the same demographic, but Abercrombie & Fitch is considered more “high end.” All three sell logo graphic T-shirts. American Eagle logo tees include the AE logo and the number “77,” the year the company was founded. They also all specialize in low-rise jeans and shorts, polos, casual skirts and dresses, underwear, and swim suits.
AEO is a private label company. The primary labels are American Eagle Outfitters, AE, and AE Supply. Other labels include Aerie and 77 Kids. These private labels include active wear, cargo pants, tees, polos, shorts and jeans for young men and women. They also include casual skirts and dresses, as well as some shoes and jewelry.
Aerie brand is sold online, in American Eagle stores, and also in stand-alone Aerie stores. Developed for young women between the ages of 13 and 25, Aerie sells underwear, sleepwear, swimsuits, and active apparel.
Kids77 brand is for children between the ages of two and twelve. This kids’ active wear is currently sold only online at www.kids77.com, although there are plans to sell this line in stores sometime in the future.
Coupons, Promotions, and Discounts
American Eagle coupons can be found online at websites such as www.retailmenot.com. Some of the best deals can be found by getting on AEO’s email list. AE will send special offers on their latest styles. They also run shipping promotions, such as “buy three items and get free shipping,” or “spend $100 and get free shipping.”
Another way to save money is to sign up for the AERewards card, either online or in the store. This is a rewards program that awards one point for each dollar spent. Get a card for AE, Aerie, or Kids77 and get one point for each dollar spent. Points are totaled every three months, and rewards are sent out as follows:
100 points…..15% off
200 points…..20% off
350 points…..30% off
500 points…..40% off
Purchases of the different brands can be combined, and rewards will be issued for all three. Members can also purchase four bras and get the fifth one free. Also, AERewards members receive a 15% birthday discount, as well as access to member’s only sales and events.
American Eagle Outfitters has redesigned itself more than once, and continues to be a popular shopping choice among young adults. The three primary brands, AE, Aerie, and Kids77, appeal to consumers because of their variety, quality, and affordable price. Coupons, promotions, and an in-house rewards program make the brand even more affordable. Although AE still specializes in casual apparel, it has come a long way from its hiking and outdoorsman roots. Now young men and women can purchase jeans, tees, polos, skirts, dresses, and even underwear, swimsuits, and sleepwear at stores located in malls and shopping centers all over North America and worldwide.