Aéropostale Inc. is arriving in Puerto Rico with a three-store rollout and plans for more.
The retailer next month will open its first store on the island at Plaza Carolina in Carolina. A second unit is to follow several weeks later at Plaza Las Américas in San Juan, and toward the end of the year the third store will launch at The Prime Outlets Puerto Rico in Barceloneta. The company plans to open 10 to 12 additional stores in Puerto Rico by 2010.
Puerto Rico is Aéropostale's second expansion outside the U.S. The company last year launched 15 stores in Canada.
"We opened in Canada last year and felt this was a natural progression for us," said Tom Johnson, chief operating officer. "There's quite a few teens in the Puerto Rico market. It's a somewhat underserved market."
Johnson declined to give projections for the Puerto Rico units. "We're not sure what the sales productivity is," he said. "In the U.S., we're doing over $560 a square foot."
Assortments will be similar to those in southern locations such as Florida and south Texas, Johnson said.
The next stops for Aéropostale will be Alaska and Hawaii in 2009. Once stores open in those states, the company will have units in all 50.
"Beyond that, there's certainly an opportunity to do licensing in other parts of the world," Johnson said, noting that brand awareness and acceptance outside the U.S. has been encouraging. "When we opened in Canada, we had terrific brand acceptance," he said.
For the opening at Plaza Carolina, Aéropostale is doing radio advertising, e-mail blasts and in-mall marketing, contests with giveaways in the store and, on May 31, an aerial sky banner along the beaches.
Johnson said there's still plenty of room for growth in North America.
"We [ultimately] see 1,000 stores in the domestic U.S. and up to 100 stores in Canada," he said, noting that the company operates 825 units in the U.S. and Canada. Jimmy'Z, Aéropostale's second retail concept has 14 stores. "We're not looking at expanding it just yet," he said. "It takes time to incubate a business."
A third brand for kids younger than Aéropostale's target 14- to 17-year-old customer is in the works.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.