Aeropostale Looks to Provide Innovative Experience
To resonate with Aeropostale's core teen shoppers, a new prototype store aims to elevate the customer's shopping experience with innovative store design and marketing and by offering trend-right fashion.
To resonate with Aéropostale's core teen shoppers, a new prototype store aims to elevate the customer's shopping experience with innovative store design and marketing and by offering trend-right fashion.
"We want to show that we have more levels than just price and promotions," said Julian Geiger, chief executive officer.
The company plans to convert 18 existing stores in 2007, and to renovate 40 percent of its stores to the new prototype within three years.
To attract a new breed of teens who want to shop in an exciting store environment, management is upgrading fixtures and adding unique features to the current "white box."
"If you have a cheap box and you have cheap product, you just become cheap," said Michael Cunningham, chief financial officer.
The prototype includes updated merchandise displays, a backlit graphic at the cash register, more anatomically correct mannequins and lifestyle images throughout the store.
"In our current white box, there is nothing to break the eye. The new stores embody a sense of discovery," Cunningham said.
Fitting rooms are located at the back of the store in an area designed to be a social hangout for teens, their friends and their moms. One attention-grabbing feature is the see-through doors of the fitting rooms that smoke over when a customer steps inside.
The fitting area, decorated with bamboo, has seating, and displays footwear and loungewear.
"This is what we should have looked like if we had the money to invest in the brand when we had no money," Geiger said.
Besides designing a lifestyle environment, Aéropostale is creating new ways to reach out to its 14- to 17-year-old customers.
"In order to connect with kids on an emotional level, we have adopted a 360-degree approach to the way we communicate," said Scott Birnbaum, senior vice president of marketing.
Over the past two months Aéropostale has joined with marketing partners Seventeen Magazine and alternative band Fall Out Boy to offer exclusive merchandise and contests. "When customers bought the Fall Out Boy CD at Aéropostale, they received an exclusive T-shirt," Birnbaum said. "We sold over 40,000 CDs, representing 10 percent of all of the Fall Out Boy CDs sold."This month, the retailer is working with LG Electronics to give away a free Chocolate Phone to customers who spend $50 or more at Aéropostale.
"As Aéropostale turns 21, the legal drinking age, it is coming of age as a brand," Geiger said. "We are becoming cooler, more fashion-oriented, with some attitude and confidence."
And the company is looking to take this hipper image overseas. Aéropostale will open its first 10 stores in Canada this year, and has the potential to grow to 80 or 90 stores.
The retailer is also discussing other "possible international expansions" for 2008 and 2009. But management said the most important thing was translating a laid-back, fun-loving office culture into the brand.
"We view our corporate culture as an important part of our brand and who we are," Geiger said. "Of course, we are interesting in performing well, but we want to do so with soul and heart."
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)