Sep 10, 2020
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American Eagle promotes Jennifer Foyle to chief creative officer, sees digital surge in Q2

Sep 10, 2020

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. has promoted Jennifer Foyle to the role of chief creative officer of AEO Inc., effective immediately. 

Jennifer Foyle, the new chief creative officer of AEO Inc. - Courtesy of AEO Inc.

Foyle will report to Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman of the board and chief executive officer. 

The new role will expand upon Foyle's existing responsibilities, as lingerie and lifestyle brand Aerie’s global brand president, and she will now be responsible for overseeing merchandising, design and marketing for the American Eagle brand. 

Chad Kessler, American Eagle global brand president, will report to Foyle.

Foyle said she will work with Kessler and the rest of the company's team “to build on AE’s many strengths and leading product lines to fuel the next chapter of growth."

"We also remain intensely focused on the vast opportunity ahead for Aerie,” she said. 

Foyle, who began as global brand president of Aerie in 2010, brings over 26 years of experience in the apparel retail industry to her new leadership position. Prior to joining American Eagle, she served as president of luxury lifestyle brand Calypso St. Barth, chief merchandising officer SVP of women's, accessories and crewcuts at J.Crew, DMM womens at Gap Inc. and as a buyer of Lauren by Ralph/private label at Bloomingdale's. 

During her time as Aerie's global brand president, she has been responsible for launching #AerieReal, a campaign focused on inclusivity and body positivity, and led the brand to nearly $800 million in annual revenue in 2019.

“[Foyle] is a strategic brand visionary, with a proven ability to drive consistent profitable growth," said Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

"She has led Aerie to incredible success, resulting in the quadrupling of sales and profits over the past five years. She brings passion, innovative thinking and an ability to infuse clear vision across product and marketing to create real connections with customers. In Aerie, we have one of the best brands in retail today, and I know [Foyle's] influence will be instrumental as we continue to drive our momentum and shape the future of American Eagle.” 

On September 9, American Eagle reported a strong second quarter boosted by a continuing surge in its online business, particularly for its Aerie brand. Although total net revenue for the 13 weeks ended August 1, 2020 decreased $157 million, or 15%, to $884 million, compared to $1.04 billion for the 13 weeks ended August 3, 2019, the company saw digital demand grow 48%, lead by 
Aerie, up 113%, and AE up 21%.

Overall, Aerie's revenue increased by 32% following a 22% increase last year, and the American Eagle brand's revenue decreased 26%, following a 1% decline last year.

The company registered a $13.7 million loss during the quarter, compared with profits of nearly $65 million the same time last year.

“In the midst of an unprecedented crisis, we delivered a significant improvement from the first quarter throughout our business – a true testament to the agility, talent and commitment of our team," said Schottenstein. 

"Aerie was simply outstanding, fueled by strong demand, with revenue rising 32% and record margins, demonstrating the power of the brand and signaling the vast opportunity ahead. Across brands, digital sales accelerated and we successfully reopened stores during the quarter.”

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