American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is set to enter the U.K. this autumn with three owned-and-operated stores, which will be located at the Bluewater mall in Kent and Westfield Group’s London and Stratford City shopping centre in London.
The Westfield mall units will include aerie shops and span over 9,000 square feet. Bluewater will span over 4,500 square feet and won’t include an aerie shop-in-shop.
American Eagle operates more than 1,000 stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong and ships to 81 countries through its Web sites. At the end of the last fiscal year, there were 96 stores in Canada, six in Mexico, three in Hong Kong and four in China. There are an additional 82 stores in 13 countries operated through franchise arrangements.
In its annual report, the company said Mexico, Asia and the U.K. as markets in which it might expand through owned-and-operated stores.
“We see tremendous global appetite for both the American Eagle Outfitters and aerie brands, and we believe that our presence in three of the most popular shopping destinations in England will provide great exposure for us in this significant new market,” Simon Nankervis, executive vice president, Americas and global country licensing for American Eagle told WWD.
The company told WWD that it had plans to close 150 of its North American stores over a three-year span, including nearly 100 American Eagle stores, and emphasise licensed stores in its pursuit of international expansion.