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American Eagle to open London stores in fall

| Monday, June 30, 2014, 11:06 p.m.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. will make its first foray into the United Kingdom by opening three stores in the London area during the fall, the South Side-based teen clothing retailer said on Monday.

The stores will be company-owned, joining nearly 120 American Eagle stores outside the United States in Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and Puerto Rico.

American Eagle's sales in America have been slumping, along with many other clothing retailers, and the company has said it trying to diversify geographically.

“We see a tremendous global appetite for both the American Eagle Outfitters and aerie brands, and believe that our presence in three of the most popular shopping destinations in England will provide great exposure for us in this significant new market,” said Simon Nankervis, executive vice president of Americas and global country licensing.

“We are focused on profitably scaling our international growth and believe that American Eagle Outfitters will have great traction in the UK.”

The company is considering adding stores in Asia and Mexico.

While opening shops overseas, American Eagle is closing U.S. stores as profits fall.

Last month, the retailer said it would shutter 150 stores over three years because net income plummeted 86 percent in the first quarter. The company has about 950 U.S. stores.

The closings are part of a strategy to cut costs at brick-and-mortar locations, shift focus toward online and mobile sales, reduce inventory and roll out fashions on a shorter turnaround, officials said in May.

Growth in the apparel industry, especially in the teen market, has been stagnant for a year.

Alex Nixon is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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