Amer­i­can Ea­gle In­vests In Dormify

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY JEAN E. PALMIERI

The dorm fur­nish­ings site will al­low the re­tailer to of­fer its young con­sumers a wider range of prod­ucts.

AEO Inc., par­ent of Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters, has made an­other out­side in­vest­ment.

The Colum­bus, Ohio-based re­tailer, which pur­chased Todd Sny­der and his Tail­gate busi­ness for $11 mil­lion two years ago, is the lead in­vestor in a $3.45 mil­lion Se­ries A in­vest­ment in Dormify, a six-yearold dorm fur­nish­ings brand.

The in­vest­ment comes after a three-year part­ner­ship be­tween Amer­i­can Ea­gle and the home fur­nish­ings site that is tar­geted to col­lege stu­dents and col­lege grad­u­ates.

Chad Kessler, Amer­i­can Ea­gle global brand pres­i­dent, said the com­pany has of­fered Dormify prod­uct on its web site in a sec­tion called AEO Apt where it sells bed­ding and other home fur­nish­ings items.

“As a $3.3 bil­lion brand, we want to be a real head­quar­ters for the 15- to 25-year-old,” Kessler said. “We’re al­ways look­ing for cat­e­gory ex­pan­sion to ex­cite the cus­tomer and ex­tend the bas­ket. We want to make more of a des­ti­na­tion and make the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence more com­plete.”

He said Dormify is “very aligned with AE and Aerie” by al­low­ing this young cus­tomer to ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity. “It’s not a bed in a bag,” he said. “We want to grow the home busi­ness and so we made an in­vest­ment to help them ex­pand.” This year, the re­tailer also col­lab­o­rated with Dormify on an as­sort­ment of spe­cial prod­uct es­pe­cially tar­geted to its customers.

Dormify said it will use the money to add ta­lent, ex­pand its pop-up lo­ca­tions and im­prove its on­line site.

“Ex­pand­ing into ad­di­tional life­style cat­e­gories has been in di­rect re­sponse to strong cus­tomer de­mand and our Amer­i­can Ea­gle x Dormify col­lab­o­ra­tion was an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to our on­line apart­ment shop,” Kessler added. “We’re pleased to con­tinue the part­ner­ship, with our com­mit­ment sig­nal­ing our con­fi­dence in Dormify, the lead­er­ship team and a shared vi­sion of the fu­ture growth op­por­tu­nity.”

He said Dormify prod­ucts will con­tinue to be housed on the com­pany’s web site rather than in its brick-and-mor­tar stores. “We did a Dormify pop-up in our AE Stu­dio in Union Square for back-toschool,” he said, where it prompted customers to or­der from the web site rather than pur­chase in-store. “Peo­ple aren’t ex­cited to carry com­forters around with them,” Kessler said with a laugh.

Dormify was founded by Amanda Zuck­er­man and her mother Karen in 2012 to sim­plify the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents and oth­ers liv­ing in small spa­ces.

Amanda Zuck­er­man, 27, who also serves as cre­ative di­rec­tor, said, “This in­vest­ment will al­low us to con­tinue to make our mark within the back-to-col­lege in­dus­try, and through our strong part­ner­ship with Amer­i­can Ea­gle, Dormify will have the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with even more stu­dents across the coun­try.”

She added that Dormify’s “small team of 15 women is nim­ble and in­cred­i­bly re­source­ful. Based on our growth since our ini­tial raise, we know we can make this next in­vest­ment go a re­ally long way. We are, and al­ways will be, scrappy, quick learn­ers and com­mit­ted to re­sults. This in­vest­ment will al­low us to do more and do it bet­ter.”

A look from the Amer­i­can Ea­gle x Dormify line.

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