US fashion retailer American Eagle plans to open its first UK stores in the autumn.
American Eagle confirmed it will open shops in Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, as well as Bluewater, as first tipped by Retail Week in December.
The Westfield shops are expected to cover 9,000 sq ft and feature shop-in-shops for American Eagle lingerie sub-brand Aerie. American Eagle’s Bluewater shop will cover 4,818 sq ft.
American Eagle Outfitters executive vice president, Americas and global country licensing Simon Nankervis said: “We are excited to officially announce the upcoming launch of the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands in the United Kingdom. We see a tremendous global appetite for the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands.”
He added that having stores in the three shopping centres “will provide great exposure for us in this significant new market”.
American Eagle operates more than 1,000 stores in the US, Canada, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong. It also ships to 81 countries through its websites.
It operates franchised stores and aims to have 100 open across 14 countries by the end of the year.
Westfield director of operations Bill Giouroukos said: “Westfield is delighted to welcome American Eagle Outfitters to Westfield London and Stratford City. With more than 30 American Eagle Outfitters stores already in many of our US centres including San Francisco, Century City and Garden State Plaza, we are honoured the company has chosen to open two of its first UK stores in Westfield centres.”
Guy Thomas, head of retail leasing at Lend Lease, which is in the process of selling its stake in Bluewater to Land Securities, said: “AEO’s selection of Bluewater as a launch location highlights the unique strength of Bluewater’s catchment, which consists of both metropolitan consumers living in London and an equally fashion-conscious wider catchment drawn from the majority of the Southeast. This combination provides brands such as American Eagle Outfitters with the best of both worlds.”