Nation & World

American Eagle thrives at the mall

Its peers have seen rougher times

Bloomberg

Customers are seen leaving an American Eagle Outfitters store.
Bloomberg Customers are seen leaving an American Eagle Outfitters store.

In today’s market, most teen retailers have struggled to appeal to the newest crop of young shoppers while e-commerce sites have scattered their once loyal customers.

It’s a situation that has led Charlotte Russe and Aeropostale into bankruptcy and Abercrombie and Fitch to close some flagships and shrink the footprint of its stores.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 was said to be exploring a debt restructuring to shore up its liquidity.

Yet American Eagle, which has been around for 42 years, has found solid footing. It’s consistently at or near the top of its peer group for revenue growth and digital sales. Teenage boys and girls continue to say it’s one of their favorite brands, according to Piper Jaffray’s semiannual survey.

Investors will get a fresh look at how the company is doing Wednesday, when it reports quarterly earnings — even as the start of 2019 hasn’t been kind to the U.S. apparel industry.

American Eagle has declined about 4% this year, and while its shares are underperforming the benchmark S&P 500 Index, they are holding up better than most peers even amid renewed investor anxiety about the retail apparel industry in the United States.

Abercrombie is down about 15 percent, Urban Outfitters Inc. has dropped about 29 percent, and Guess? Inc. has lost about 21 percent.

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