NEW YORK — Reorganizing to turn around its slumping retail operations, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. named Jim O’Donnell chief executive officer, and Roger Markfield vice chairman and president of the American Eagle division.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

O’Donnell and Markfield were co-ceo’s since December 2001. Getting a more hands-on opportunity to fix the goods, Markfield will be responsible for merchandising, design, production and marketing. Also, executive vice president Susan Miller was appointed chief merchandising officer, reporting to Markfield.

The company also reported that total sales for the month ended Nov. 1 decreased 8.3 percent to $96.1 million. Comp-store sales for the American Eagle Outfitters stores decreased 18.7 percent, while consolidated comp-store sales, which include American Eagle and Bluenotes/Thriftys stores, decreased 18.1 percent.

Third quarter sales decreased 0.2 percent to $373.8 million. Comp-store sales for the American Eagle Outfitters stores declined 10.4 percent, and consolidated comp sales dropped 10.3 percent.

The company expects third quarter earnings to be in the range of 22 to 24 cents per share, before a goodwill impairment charge of 11 cents per share attributed to Bluenotes. The per share estimate fell below the current Wall Street consensus of 28 cents. An independent valuation may result in an adjustment to this estimate, the company said. Final third-quarter results will be reported Nov. 13.

Jay Schottenstein, chairman of American Eagle Outfitters, based here, commented: “We are strengthening our organization and redirecting our best talent…as we strive to turn around the American Eagle business. I’m pleased to have Roger sharply focused on setting the strategic direction of the merchandising and marketing initiatives of the American Eagle brand, where his talent and accomplishments are proven. I am confident that as ceo, Jim will effectively lead a strategic turnaround and position American Eagle for sustained growth.”

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