NEW YORK — Aéropostale will enter the international market for the first time when it opens two stores in Canada later this summer, executives told shareholders at its annual meeting here last Wednesday.
The specialty teen retailer will open in Toronto and Vancouver as part of an overall growth plan that calls for no less than 10 new Canadian stores, and an additional 75 U.S. stores by the end of 2007.
“We see an emerging and large international opportunity north of the border,” said chairman and CEO Julian Geiger. “The land mass is greater then the U.S., but the population is about one-tenth as big. So if we think we can have 1,000 stores in the U.S., we can definitely have up to 100 stores in Canada.” Aéropostale currently operates 728 stores in the U.S.
Also this year, Geiger said, the New York City–based retailer will open a West Coast distribution center in Los Angeles, implement a new allocation system and place renewed emphasis on marketing. The company will also continue to roll out Aéropostale’s updated store format featuring skylights, floor-to-ceiling stretches of bamboo and lifestyle graphics.
One division that will not see any rollouts in the year ahead is Jimmy’Z, a California lifestyle concept the company launched in 2005. “We haven’t been totally happy with merchandise at Jimmy’Z,” said Geiger. “We’re continuing to modify the assortment. But the focus is on Aéropostale.”
A revitalized, more fashion-forward assortment at Aéropostale’s retail locations helped make 2006 a year of record sales and earnings for the teen retail chain. “A couple of years ago we had lost merchandise balance a little bit,” explained Geiger. “But our comp-store sales have been up and we feel really good about the balance of our assortment.”
Net income rose 27 percent last year to $106.6 million, on a 17 percent sales jump to $1.4 billion. Total sales have grown significantly from less than $200 million in 1999 when the company went public. In the first quarter, profits skyrocketed 64.4 percent to $13.8 million from $8.4 million in the same year-ago quarter. Sales climbed 12 percent to $275.8 million from $246.3 million, while same-store sales gained 2.5 percent.
This year, Geiger said the company is projecting earnings-per-share increases of 20 percent, along with continued comp-store sales gains.
At the meeting, Geiger called attention to the firm’s new president and chief merchandising officer, Mindy Meads, who he thinks will help fuel future success at Aéropostale. “Mindy brings great leadership and a very keen fashion eye,” said Geiger in an interview with DNR following Wednesday’s meeting. “The organization has done a terrific job revitalizing the brand and brand image.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty