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|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Marc Miller (CEO)|
|Products||Apparel & accessories|
|Owners||Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners, Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources|
Number of employees
|21,007 (January 31, 2015)|
Aéropostale, Inc., also called AERO, is an American shopping mall–based retailer of casual apparel and accessories, principally targeting young adults through its Aéropostale stores. Aéropostale maintains control over its proprietary brands by designing, sourcing, marketing, and selling all of its own merchandise. The company operates Aéropostale stores in the United States and the e-commerce site aeropostale.com. Aéropostale's licensees operate Aéropostale and P.S. from Aéropostale locations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The first Aéropostale stores were opened in 1987 by R H Macy & Co. in Thousand Oaks, California, and in Short Hills, New Jersey.
Many different pronunciations of the brand name have developed in the United States: arrow-PAUSE-tall, arrow-PUS-tall-ee, YOR-oh-POHS-tal-AY, etc., but according to a video posted by the company on YouTube, the English pronunciation is a simplified version of the French word, which means "French airmail service." In French, it's /a e ʁɔ pɔs ˈtal/. In English, it's /ˌɛər oʊ poʊ ˈstɒl/ or, in spelling pronunciation, "arrow-post-ALL."
The now-defunct P.S. from Aéropostale began in 2009, and originally only offered apparel at value prices to the 7–12 age market. In winter of 2011, P.S. added apparel for three-, four-, five- and six-year-olds to their collections, being introduced with the Holiday clothings. Beginning in November 2013, the Bethany Mota collection was added to Aéropostale stores, featuring clothing and accessories designed by American video blogger Bethany Mota. Also beginning in the fall of 2013, the Live Love Dream collection (LLD) was added to Aéropostale stores. Live Love Dream features lounge and activewear geared to girls. The company also offered a secondary brand called Jimmy'Z that focused on surf and skater clothing. The 14 stores were branded as more upscale with higher price points than its parent chain. The company closed all Jimmy'Z in fiscal 2009.
In October 2014, the company launched their latest collection, United XXVI, which features clothing with an edgier look. The company works with video bloggers Nash Grier, Hayes Grier, and Cameron Dallas to create these looks based on the type of clothing the boys enjoy.
Aéropostale currently has the following brands for girls:
- Free State
- Invite Only
- Junie & Jade
- Map to Mars
- The Bikini Lab
- United XXVI
And for boys:
- Free State
- United XXVI
Aéropostale mainly competes with other outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch and its subsidiary retailer Hollister Co., and American Eagle Outfitters as well as a few smaller brands. Aéropostale's younger brand, P.S. from Aéropostale, competes with brands such as A&F's younger subsidiary Abercrombie Kids and, formerly, American Eagle's 77kids.
In 2007, the company began doing promotions with successful figures to increase brand awareness. The first promotion was selling the Fall Out Boy album Infinity on High with a store-exclusive T-shirt. Other offers include a free beach towel with every $50 purchase and a free Christmas bear with a purchase of over $100, each promotion in its respective season. These Christmas bears are also donated by Aéropostale stores to local charities in their respective communities. In 2008, Aéropostale, along with not-for-profit youth organization Do Something, launched "Teens for Jeans", a campaign to raise awareness of teen homelessness. Stores would collect lightly used jeans and donate them to local charities. In return, donators received a 20% (2008) or 25% (2009) discount on a new pair of Aéropostale jeans. In 2008, the campaign raised over 125,000 pairs of jeans. In their fifth year they collected over a million pairs in 2012. In 2008 and 2009, Aéropostale donated 10,000 pairs of new jeans to the campaign.
In 2010, after the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, for every pair of jeans that was donated by customers, Aéropostale sent a brand new pair to Haiti. In 2015, the company teamed up with British pop band The Vamps to promote awareness. The school with the most jeans collected received a private concert from the band. There were over 82,000 participants and the company raised 722,072 pairs of jeans in total. Also they promoted the show Greek Season 1 DVD with a free T-shirt with a $50 purchase. In the same year, Aéropostale organized Real Teen contest to discover new talent among teenagers. The top 8 winners of the contest received $5,000 personal college scholarship. In April 2011, Aéropostale partnered with Black Eyed Peas to sell exclusive T-shirts and CDs. Proceeds from these items benefit the Peapod Foundation, a charity which "helps children worldwide through music." Additionally, Aéropostale has pledged $100,000 to the organization.
- In March 2007, Aéropostale was accused of infringing a patent owned by Card Activation Technologies, Inc. in a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois. In a separate lawsuit on the same patent, Card Activation received a ruling on claim construction which it interpreted as "extremely favorable" to its interpretation of the patent and its "pursuit of infringers" of the patent.
- In June 2007, Aéropostale was accused of infringing a patent owned by Picture Patents, LLC in a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York.
- In July 2009, Aéropostale was accused of infringing a patent owned by Furnace Brook, LLC in a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois.
- Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Christopher Finazzo was terminated in November 2006 after an investigation by the Board of Directors revealed that he had concealed and failed to disclose personal and business interests with South Bay Apparel, a major vendor. The SEC issued an investigation on the Finazzo matter in January 2008. A criminal indictment was unsealed and announced June 11, 2010 in U.S. Court in Brooklyn, NY charging Finazzo and Doug Dey, the owner of South Bay with wire and mail fraud conspiracy. Finazzo was convicted on 16 counts, including 14 counts of mail fraud and one each for wire fraud and conspiracy on April 25, 2013.
Aéropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 4, 2016, with assets of $354 million. The company closed 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all 41 (in addition to 20 already closed prior to the filing) in Canada, the majority of which were unprofitable and responsible for the company's losses.
The company exited bankruptcy in September 2016, after a $243 million bid from a consortium of licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, mall operators Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties, and capital-investment firms Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources. By January 2017 Aéropostale had reopened over 500 stores under its new management. Aéropostale products returned to Canada in 2019, through boutiques in Bluenotes stores and a dedicated online shop.
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Forever 21
- Gap Inc.
- Hollister Co.
- Old Navy
- Pacific Sunwear
- "Aéropostale, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 30, 2015". sec.gov. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
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- "Aeropostale Partners with Do hi Something to Launch Teens for Jeans" (Press release). Aéropostale. January 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
- "Over 200,000 Teens Expected to Donate Jeans for Homeless Teens" (Press release). Aéropostale. January 26, 2009. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
- "Aéropostale Scholarship". Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
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- "Card Activation Technologies Inc v. Barnes & Noble Inc et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Dockets.justia.com. March 2, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- "Card Activation Technologies, Inc. Receives Ruling on Claims Construction Issues". Reuters. September 14, 2009.
- "Picture Patents, LLC. v. Aeropostale, Inc. :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Dockets.justia.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- "Furnace Brook LLC v. Aeropostale, Inc. et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Dockets.justia.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- "2009 Annual Report, p. 44–45". Retrieved April 10, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Former clothing execs face fraud charges". just-style.com. June 15, 2010.
- "Ex-Aeropostale Executive Found Guilty in Vendor Deal". Bloomberg. April 25, 2013.
- "Aeropostale Inc. Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- Mclean, Rob (May 4, 2016). "Teen retailer Aeropostale has filed for bankruptcy". CNNMoney. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- Goenka, Himanshu (May 4, 2016). "Aéropostale (AROP) Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection". International Business Times. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- Bomey, Nathan (May 4, 2016). "Will your Aéropostale close? Here's the list". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- Wahba, Phil (September 13, 2016). "Aéropostale Won't Go Out of Business After All". Fortune. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Wilson, Marianne (January 11, 2017). "Teen apparel retailer reopens 500-plus stores". Chain Store Age. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Toneguzzi, Mario (November 25, 2019). "US Retailer Aéropostale to Re-Enter Canada with Aggressive Growth Strategy". Retail Insider. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
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