American Eagle Outfitters has shuttered its Union Square store, which was converted to an experiential AE Studio store on the company’s 40th anniversary in 2017.
The store was shuttered last week when its lease expired and the company said it is not indicative of a large-scale store closing plan.
The company sent out an e-mail to customers on Thursday saying: “The Union Square AE store is closing, but we’ve got you covered.” It directed shoppers to other nearby stores including the SoHo unit at 599 Broadway and 40 W. 34th Street.
“AEO Inc. is always exploring new and innovative ways to optimize the business,” said a company spokesperson. “Our fleet of American Eagle and Aerie stores is an essential customer touch point and remains a highly profitable channel for AEO.
The Union Square store at 19 Union Square West on 15th Street served as a concept location used to develop a new store model, which was rolled out in nine markets in 2019. Twelve additional stores will debut throughout 2020, the company added.
“As the Union Square store lease came to an end on Jan. 15, AE has chosen not to renew the lease in order to focus on other high-performing stores as well as its rapidly growing digital business.”
According to real estate sources, the company’s large Times Square store may also be closed. It is reported “on the sublease market,” according to one broker. AEO declined to comment, calling the report “pure speculation.”
In December, the company reported sales and profits both rose in the third quarter with strength in jeans and the Aerie division. Total revenues for the three-month period ended Nov. 2 increased to $1.06 billion, up from just over $1 billion during 2018’s third quarter. Income also grew to $186.4 million, up from $185.7 million the same time last year.