US: Aeropostale works to boost fashion credentials
US teen fashion retailer Aeropostale is working to improve its fashion credentials after recording a "disappointing" holiday season.
Speaking at the 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference in Miami yesterday (17 January), CFO Marc Miller said: "Clearly our holiday season was disappointing" -which he attributed to issues with its core product lines, including graphics, fleece and sleepwear.
The company has been working to revitalise its product range, evolving its assortment from offering key items to full looks.
"Historically we have been a key item business, whether that has been in graphic or fleece. There were key items we bought against, we were able to sell them in great quantities and our business was built around that.
"What we've recognised is that our girls' taste is growing broader than ever before, and as they're evolving, what we need to do is deliver relevant looks for all aspects of her lifestyle," he said.
"We meet her needs on comfy clothes, but we are not getting our fair share of wallet for other occasions."
As part of that, the company has had to move to a faster fashion model, developing the capacity to get products in store between two and 14 weeks, where before it would place orders nine months in advance.
"We're testing, reading and reacting more than ever before, which is important as we increasingly focus on fashion," said Miller.
The company is also working to optimise its real estate portfolio, closing some 19 stores in 2012. Miller said the company is still evaluating its estate, with further closures set to be announced in March.
He also revealed plans to enter Mexico through a licence deal with the country's largest department store operator Liverpool Department Stores. The agreement will see Aeropostale open concessions in Liverpool Department Stores as well as standalone outlets.
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Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale has swung to a second-quarter loss, after it was forced to increase promotions to clear inventory due to unseasonably cool weather....
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