American Eagle Outfitters said Thursday that it will launch a new children’s apparel retail store called 77kids by american eagle.

Stores will begin opening in the United States in 2009, and the line will be sold online at 77kids.com later this year. 77kids will target children ages two to 10 with on-trend, high-quality merchandise, the company said in a statement.

“77kids is a natural fit for American Eagle,” Jim O’Donnell, chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We’re leveraging the AEO expertise and best practices to create something new, incremental and exciting for customers.”

American Eagle is venturing into the kids’ market as other brands including Marc Jacobs, J. Crew and Lucky Brand Jeans place more attention on the booming sector. That’s not to say children’s wear is easy. Earlier this month, Talbots Inc. announced plans to discontinue its kids’ and men’s businesses by the fall to help it focus on its core misses’, special sizes, Collection, accessories, shoes and J. Jill operations.

For more, see Friday’s issue of WWD.


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