By  on February 3, 2005

NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters Inc. on Wednesday named Ken Pilot as president of its upcoming and as-yet-unnamed retail concept, confirming a WWD report.

The company also named two other key executives for the new division, and reported that its extraordinary run of sales gains last year continued through January. Figures for the month, quarter and the year were disclosed.

The company raised its fourth-quarter earnings guidance to $1.38 to $1.39 per share, from $1.30 to $1.31. The guidance excludes a charge of 8 cents to 11 cents per share related to the disposition of the Bluenotes business. The company provided first-quarter guidance of 43 cents to 45 cents, compared with 36 cents from last year.

For the month ended Jan. 29, total sales increased 31.8 percent to $109.6 million, while comparable-store sales increased 22 percent. For the fourth quarter, total sales rose 37.4 percent to $674 million, and comp-store sales increased 28.6 percent. And for the year, sales rose 31.1 percent to $1.88 billion and comps increased 21.4 percent.

For the new division, Chuck Chupein was named as senior vice president and chief operating officer and James Olsson was named as vice president and gmm of men’s.

Chupein was director of operations and real estate at Sugartown Worldwide Inc. Before that, he held operating and finance positions at Gap Inc. and Limited Brands. Olsson was chief executive of Ripcurl Inc. and earlier served as a divisional vice president at Coach and Old Navy.

Pilot was president of factory stores and retail concept development at Polo Ralph Lauren. Before that, he a long run at Gap.

Insiders at American Eagle said Pilot opted to leave Polo and was not squeezed out. They also noted he reported to Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer of Polo.

The new division will cater to the post-college crowd.

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