Christmas is over and the long, gloomy days of winter are stretching before us. If you were fortunate to get a gift card from your relatives for the mall or American Eagle, why not spend the money on an outfit for your dog?
That’s right – your dog. According to news outlets such as Bloomberg and USA Today, American Eagle Outfitters has introduced a line of apparel that is exclusively designed with your furry friend in mind. This is a huge deviation from the brand’s typical niche, which targets teens and young twenty-something’s. The news was released on April Fool’s Day (http://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/american-eagle-creates-american-beagle-outfitters-line-with), leading the media and public to think it was a joke. It was not a joke however; the line officially debuted in late November for the 2014 holiday season.
So will this move save American Eagle? Like comparable teen stores, sales are down. At the end of the second quarter, total net revenue for the company decreased 2% to $711 million from $727 million last year http://investors.ae.com/financial-news/financial-news-details/2014/American-Eagle-Outfitters-Reports-Second-Quarter-2014-Results/default.aspx. In contrast, Abercrombie & Fitch’s second quarter was down 1%. Hollister, American Eagle’s largest competitor, was down 10% http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NTUzNzAzfENoaWxkSUQ9MjQ5NTE1fFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1
Just from gauging the numbers, is marketing dog apparel to older teens and young adults a sound strategy? As a pug owner and mother of two, I am not sure whether or not I can completely justify spending $40 on a parka for my dog. On the flip side, American Eagle does make quality mass-produced garments, and I think that their dog clothing will be no exception. For the discriminating dog owner, this product is unique. Time will tell if this move will help set the brand apart from the rest.
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