NEW YORK — In its rookie year as a public company, Aeropostale soared in the face of tough challenges.
Julian R. Geiger, chairman and chief executive of Aeropostale, said at the company’s annual meeting here on Wednesday, “Our ability to produce excellent results amidst a challenging retail environment is real testimony to the strength of the Aeropostale brand, to the compelling nature of our retail concept and to the talent and dedication of our people.”
In a year that the company saw its initial public offering on May 21, 2002, the New York-based value-priced teen specialty retailer also posted double-digit increases in its profits and sales as income surged 18.1 percent to $31.3 million, compared with $26.5 million, and sales increased 36.2 percent to $550.9 million, from $404.4 million, driven by a same-store sales gain of 6.6 percent and an increase of 89 new stores.
Geiger said the back-to-school season was challenging, due to a dramatic and unexpected decline in mall traffic in September, but said the firm’s increased promotional activity, reduced merchandise commitments and curtailed external marketing spending played out well.
At the same time, Aeropostale’s stock price has recovered since it reached its 52-week low of $5.25 on Oct. 10. Shares of the company traded up 39 cents or 1.8 percent to close at $21.60 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
“The success of our approach and the flexibility of our operating formula demonstrated our ability to adapt to market changes and to minimize the adverse effects of external stimuli on our financial performance,” Geiger said.
Aeropostale was established by R.H. Macy & Co. as a department store private label initiative in the early Eighties and targeted men in their 20s. Macy’s opened the first mall-based Aeropostale special store in 1987. Over the next decade, Macy’s, and later, its current parent company, Federated Department Stores, opened more than 100 stores. In August 1998, Federated sold its specialty store division to Aeropostale’s current management. It now operates just over 400 stores.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye