AMERICAN EAGLE HOPES NEW SCENT WILL SOAR

Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters’ first fragrance project will take flight this August. Called Alive, it is a citrusy herbal unisex scent designed for fans of the spirited, youthful clothing line.
“Part of appealing to the 20-year-old customer and staying top in their minds is by constantly creating freshness in the store,” explained Susan Miller, American Eagle’s vice president and general merchandising manager. “Fragrance is a brand extension that makes sense with their lifestyle.”
The name, she explained, not only reflects the optimism and energy of the American Eagle customer, but is a subliminal play on the company’s initials, and its Web address — ae.com — as it starts with an A and ends with an E.
The Alive project has been in the works for two years. American Eagle’s marketing team met with various fragrance houses and tested each submission with the company’s core customer group of men and women ages 16 to 34.
“When we were narrowing it down, we sent four to six different fragrances to a cross section of stores for customers to vote on,” said Miller.
The winner has top notes of grapefruit, bergamot, tangerine, basil, cardamom, wet green accords, leafy greens, aquatic accords and sheer anise, middle notes of geranium, rose, lily, clary sage, jasmine and clove and a base of patchouli, sandalwood, amber and musky nuances.
The company decided to do a unisex scent because its customer base is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. “We did quite a lot of research into this category,” Miller said. “A couple of the top-selling fragrances with our market were the uni-gender fragrances. We’re very happy that we have an equal number of male and female customers and we wouldn’t want to alienate one side.”
The products include Alive fragrance spray, which will retail for $15 for a 1-oz. bottle and $25 for a 3.4-oz. size; Get Up & Go Body Wash, $8 for an 8-oz. tube, and Feel Real Body Lotion, also $8 for an 8-oz. tube. An Alive Road Trip Kit, featuring miniature sizes of the three products in a travel kit, will retail for $18. A Groovy Loofah will be $5.
Miller would not comment on a sales target, but she did note that American Eagle plans to sell more than a million Alive stockkeeping units in the next 12 months. The products will be sold exclusively at American Eagle locations. There are 475 American Eagle shops and 80 more are set to open later this year, Miller noted.
Alive will be promoted with magazine advertising and direct mail. It will be featured in the American Eagle magalog and Web site, but not sold through either vehicle. The promotions will invite customers to visit the stores for a sample.
The Alive products will be merchandised on a glass and metal fixture in the front of the store for the launch period and then moved near the cash register.
American Eagle’s next fragrance project is already under development.
Miller wouldn’t give any specifics except to say it has a “different twist” from Alive. “This one might speak to males and females individually,” she said.

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