American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is brushing up its global appeal.

This story first appeared in the December 22, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Pittsburgh-based specialty chain cut the ribbon during the past month on stores in Morocco, Jordan and Egypt — all new markets for the firm. The company, which has more than 1,000 stores, is also growing its presence in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon with additional stores early next year.

American Eagle is expanding in the region through its franchise partner M.H. Alshaya, which also operates stores for the company in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The retailer began to move beyond North America in May 2009, when it formed its partnership with Alshaya.

International stores are seen as an important growth venue for chains in the U.S., where the market is relatively saturated and caught in an economic funk.

American Eagle opened its store in Jordan on Nov. 30, at the Taj Mall, while the door in Morocco opened in Casablanca’s Morocco Mall on Dec. 1 and the store in Egypt opened in Cairo’s City Stars Mall on Dec. 10.

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