Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters Bets Big on In­dian Mar­ket

Amer­i­can Ea­gle Outnjt­ters is a lead­ing global spe­cialty re­tailer oljer­ing high­qual­ity, on-trend cloth­ing, ac­ces­sories and per­sonal care prod­ucts at aljord­able prices…

Images Retail - - FRONT PAGE - – By Charu Lamba

US-based mid-to-pre­mium denim wear brand, Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters en­tered In­dia in the sum­mer of 2018 through a li­cens­ing agree­ment with Aditya Birla Fash­ion and Re­tail Ltd. The brand ex­pects In­dia will be its top three in­ter­na­tional mar­kets in the next five years. In an in­ter­view with IMAGES Re­tail, Guillermo La Rosa, Vice-pres­i­dent, In­ter­na­tional and Busi­ness

De­vel­op­ment, Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters says, “Our brand has been in In­dia for the past few months and it has been per­form­ing well. We are learn­ing a lot about the In­dian con­sumer as we plan to ex­pand within the mar­ket and as we will get these learn­ings un­der our belt, it will help us grow and of­fer the right prod­ucts to con­sumers.”

Tar­get Cus­tomers

Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters is a lead­ing global spe­cialty re­tailer of­fer­ing high-qual­ity, on-trend cloth­ing, ac­ces­sories and per­sonal care prod­ucts at af­ford­able prices.

The brand is bet­ting big on Gen­er­a­tion Z, who are be­tween the age group of 1525 year-old.

“In­dia’s rapidly de­vel­op­ing and vi­brant econ­omy, an­chored by the world’s largest youth pop­u­la­tion, pro­vides an ex­cit­ing growth op­por­tu­nity for our brands and ex­pand­ing our global reach,” says La Rosa.

Cat­e­gory Mix

The cat­e­gory mix of

Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters com­prises of jeans, shorts, jog­gers, t-shirts, tops, wo­ven shirts, sweat­shirts, jack­ets and hood­ies along with ac­ces­sories like shoes, socks and belts.

Elab­o­rat­ing on this, La Rosa says, “The breadth of our as­sort­ment is global; how­ever, the cat­e­gory mix varies from lo­ca­tion to lo­ca­tion. For ex­am­ple, in DLF Prom­e­nade, the pen­e­tra­tion is around 60 per­cent men and 40 per­cent women prod­ucts whereas in Mall of In­dia, it is 50-50.”

In the In­dian mar­ket, Denim is the Num­ber 1 cat­e­gory for both men and women fol­lowed by other cat­e­gories like wo­ven shirts, polo shirts, fleece and sweaters.

“In In­dia, there have been a lot of learn­ings for us, like in the women’s cat­e­gory, the cus­tomer prefers more of boot-cut whereas out­side In­dia it is more about skinny and su­per skinny. Skinny and su­per skinny is lit­tle bit slower than what we had an­tic­i­pated. Sim­i­larly, in the men’s cat­e­gory, slim and skinny are very im­por­tant glob­ally whereas here in In­dia it is more of slim and straight denim. It seems like here in In­dia the cus­tomer wants more clean-cut den­ims. We will con­tinue with what the con­sumer wants as we grow,” he adds.

De­cod­ing the Store

The av­er­age size of the Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters’ store spans across 2,500-3,500 sq. ft. in In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to La Rosa, the store size of the brand in In­dia is smaller as com­pared to that in the US. “In the US the store size ranges from 4,500 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft.,” he says.

De­spite the smaller spa­ces, the brand is hop­ing to launch more stores in more cities soon. Apart from this, the brand will also launch big­ger flag­ship out­lets.

“We are look­ing for­ward to open­ing more flag­ship stores in key cities like Delhi, Mum­bai and Ben­galuru and these stores will be big­ger than the av­er­age store. In ad­di­tion to this, af­ter the launch of Aerie in In­dia, we ex­pect to have big­ger stores,” he adds.

Aerie is a lin­gerie re­tailer and in­ti­mate ap­parel sub­brand owned by Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters. In the US, Aerie tar­gets the 15- to 25 year-old fe­male de­mo­graphic.

Ex­pan­sion Plans

At present, the brand has three op­er­a­tional stores spread across Delhi-ncr and Chandigarh. Apart from this, it is avail­able through its own web­site and also on fash­ion por­tal Myn­tra.

“By this year-end, we are look­ing to open six to nine more out­lets. In the next three years, we are look­ing at a to­tal of 25 lo­ca­tions.

For some of the new stores, we have got lo­ca­tions in Hy­der­abad, Chen­nai, Pune, Mum­bai, Delhi and we are also ex­plor­ing other op­tions,” La Rosa re­veals.

“We are not here to be in ev­ery single mall and ex­ploit the brand. We want to be very metic­u­lous and cal­cu­la­tive in the part­ner­ships that we have with malls. We will be launch­ing the Mum­bai out­let in the up­com­ing months,” he adds.

The brand may also look at hav­ing a pres­ence through multi-brand stores and in Tier II mar­kets in the fu­ture. It will also open Aerie stores across In­dia in part­ner­ship with the Aditya Birla Group.

“We be­lieve that in the next five years In­dia could emerge as the top three mar­kets out­side the US,” La Rosa as­serts.

Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters mer­chan­dise also is avail­able at more than 190 in­ter­na­tional lo­ca­tions op­er­ated by li­censees in 24 coun­tries.

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