American Eagle, Aerie step away from Carnaby plans
The highly anticipated physical arrival of American Eagle and Aerie brands in the UK has ended in disappointment.
The major US fashion brands were due to mark their entry in the UK with debuts in London’s Carnaby shopping district in early December. However, plans have been ditched after the brands' holding company AEO EU was forced to appoint liquidators in January.
The cancellation of the agreement came after the US owner of American Eagle terminated AEO EU’s licence following a delay in repaying a debt of $7.7 million (£5.9 million). AEO EU is understood to have blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for its problems.
Both American Eagle and Aerie were due to occupy prominent stores on London’s Foubert’s Place with the denim-based casualwear retailer marking a return to the UK via a 3,888 sq ft space at 15 Foubert’s Place. It would have been intimates brand Aerie’s country debut with a 1,630 sq ft space at nearby No 19 Foubert’s Place.
Announcing the initial debut plans last autumn, Nish Soneji, CEO American Eagle Europe/Aerie Europe, said: “As experts in bringing US fashion brands to the UK and Europe, we had to ensure the locations for American Eagle and Aerie's first London stores not only resonate with London's young and trend-savvy fashion consumers but would also make a dramatic impact for these game-changing brands.”
It will come as a big disappointment for the area’s property owner Shaftesbury after having successfully attracted a number of strong brands to the area since lockdowns ended last May.
Samantha Bain-Mollison, retail director at property company Shaftesbury, said: “The company holding the master licence to trade these two brands in the UK went into liquidation, so could no longer retail from this location. We are now remarketing the two stores which are in a prime location in Carnaby and we will be seeking to add to the exciting retail line up of flagship stores on the street.”
American Eagle last traded in the UK in 2017 but closed three stores at Westfield London, Westfield Stratford and Bluewater in Kent.
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