Aeropostale, Inc. is a popular American clothing and accessories retailer. It's a specialty store that has earned a reputation for providing trendy clothing with a brand name that is readily recognizable. We took a look at the history of this remarkable giant in the clothing industry and discovered some interesting facts that we want to share with you. Here are 20 things about Aeropostale that you probably didn't know but will find interesting.
1. Their target audience is teens
People from all age groups are seen wearing Aeropostale clothing. You can tell at a glance because the name of the brand is proudly displayed on the majority of clothing items, particularly on the shirts and sweaters. The target age group for the company is teenagers between the ages of 14 to 17. They also operate a division geared towards 4 to 12 year old groups that is called the P.S. from Aeropostale. Even though the bulk of their advertising and marketing strategies are aimed at this age group, there are lots of adults who prefer the brand as well. They manufacture clothing and accessories for adults as well, but their goal is to capture the attention of the teenagers and they've done a good job in doing so.
2. There are disagreements over the pronunciation of the name
Here is a fun fact about Aeropostale. Even dyed in the wool customers who've been wearing the brand and shopping at their outlets for years have difficulty pronouncing the name correctly. There are several different pronunciations of the name that have developed in the United States. The name is actually derived from a French word that is translated into English as "French airmail service." It is pronounced arrow-post all. To simplify things, there are a lot of people who simply refer to the brand as AERO.
3. RH Macy & Co founded Aeropostale
The very first Aeropostale stores opened their doors for business in 1987. The brand was established in Thousand Oaks, California by an easily recognizable giant, RH Macy & Co. In addition to the Thousand Oaks location, they also opened a store in Short Hills, New Jersey. The two experimental retailers paid off big time. They were a hit with the public and they were instrumental in helping to get the brand name of clothing established. More locations opened throughout the United States after the initial success of these two brick and mortar establishments.
4. Aeropostale extended their offerings to an online platform
Aeropostale had the right idea about how to properly market their clothing and accessories. While they started out as a brick and mortar establishment, they were quick to realize that an e-commerce approach was necessary to become serious competitors in the clothing industry. They established the e-commerce site Aeropostale.com. This gives online and mobile shoppers easy access to their products without the need to travel to a physical location. Ordering is fast and easy and it boosted their sales dramatically.
5. Aeropostale does their own marketing
We were impressed with the fact that Aeropostale keeps control over their proprietary brands without outsourcing. They do the designing, the sourcing, the marketing and the selling for their own merchandise. This is just one of the ways that the company is able to ensure high quality in the final products they sell to the customers. Aeropostale is in charge of the items from the planning stage, development, production, advertising and making the final sale to the customer. Of course, you can find this brand for sale through other popular retailers, but control over Aeropostale marketing is kept within the company. This increases confidence in the brand and makes it appealing to customers who are willing to pay a little more for the branded items because of the quality and durability.
6. Aeropostale has international locations
The company has achieved major success at its stores in the United States. The brand is circulated throughout the entire world. Aeropostale has opened locations in Latin America, Europe, Asia and in the Middle East. They also operate locations in Puerto Rico. These international stores include Aeropostale plus their P.S. for kids divisions. If you're a fan of the brand and you happen to visit a few malls when visiting abroad, don't be surprised to find a few Aeropostale stores in your travels.
7. They offer designer clothing at value prices
Aeropostale isn't a cheaply priced brand, but they're not considered to be expensive either. They are definitely classified in the "designer clothing" category, but their prices do not reflect an extremely high end boutique cost. Instead, they've kept to costs for their clothing and accessories reasonable so the average blue collar worker can afford the brand. They're more expensive than a lot of the extreme value brands out there, but the quality makes their items worth a little expense for value shoppers. Aeropostale is a designer brand that is within the reach of practically everyone.
8. Aeropostale incorporated other famous brands into their lines
Aeropostale has been brilliant in their approach to providing customers with design features that they love. The brand formed a collaboration with Bethany Mota in 2013, and they added the Bethany Mota collection to their stores. If you're not familiar with her, she's an American video blogger who has achieved a high level of popularity and this line of specialty clothing and accessories has been designed by her.
9. Aeropostale is reaching niche customers with secondary brands
The brand also added a collection of active wear for girls that is called the Live Love Dream collection. They developed the secondary brand within the Aeropostale domain that is called Jimmy'Z. This line focuses upon clothing and accessories or surfers and skaters.
10. Aeropostale opened 14 stores based on their specialty brands
The company made a move to open up a chain of stores under the parent company. There were a total of 14 stores opened up featuring the Jimmy'Z secondary brand. The clothing and accessories which were sold under this brand were more expensive than Aeropostale and the stores were considered to be more upscale. They were attempting to establish a new marketing niche within the Aeropostale domain. The Jimmy'Z line wasn't the success that they had hoped it would be and the company ended up closing all of the stores that they had opened under the line.
11. They launched the United XXVI collaborative collection in 2014
Even though the Jimmy'Z brand wasn't that well received, Aeropostale went back to the drawing board. They developed a new collection in 2014, that officially launched in October of that year. The United XXVI collection is a collaborative effort that was a joint effort between Aeropostale and popular video bloggers Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier and Hayes Grier. They worked with the brand to create the new line of clothing and accessories that is geared specifically towards boys ad the type of clothing that they like to wear. The styles are a bit edgier that comparable items offered by other brands and so far, the new collection has been successful.
12. Aeropostale has a giant collection of brands specifically for girls
The secondary brands that Aeropostale has developed each has a specific target audience within their marketing strategy. Their goal has been to identify what their customers enjoy in design elements. This has resulted in the need for a variety of different brands so they will have items to offer people with a variety of different tastes and preferences in clothing. For girls, they offer Bethany Mota, Free State, Hobie, Invite Only, Junie & Jade, Live Love Dream, Lorimer, Map to Mars, The Bikini Lab, Tokyo Darling and United XXVI.
13. Aeropostale collections for boys are much smaller
We compared the number of specialty brands that Aeropostale offers for girls with the brands that they offer for boys and we were a bit surprised to discover that they offer a great deal more for girls than they do for boys. While they offer a good variety of styles, they don't maintain nearly as may brand choices for boys as they do for girls. There are 11 specialty brands for girls and currently just three for boys, which are their Brooklyn Calling, Free State and United XXVI. The failed Jimmy'Z brand seems to be off the table for now.
14. Aeropostale is holding its own with some major competitors
In the designer and clothing industry, certain brands develop intense competition with comparable brands. Within their category of affordable designer clothing and accessories, their main competitor is Abercrombie & Fitch as well as their subsidiary brand Hollister Co. Another of their major competitors is American Eagle Outfitters and a few other lesser known brands who offer lower prices. There is also a competition between Aeropostale's PS brand with Abercrombie's kids line Abercrombie's kids. A former competitor was American Eagle's 77kids, which is no longer in the competition.
15. Aeropostale is big on donating to charities
There are a lot of people who are not aware of the fact that Aeropostale has been involved in several promotional campaigns to help raise money for donation to the less fortunate. They've made it a habit. In 2008, they set out on a promotion that launched their "Teens for Jeans" campaign. It was geared towards raising awareness about teen homelessness. They partnered with a non-profit youth organization called Do Something. Each Aeropostale store took up collections of jeans that were lightly used and still in excellent condition. These jeans were donated to local charities to help clothe people who couldn't afford to purchase them on their own. They rewarded their customers for making donations by offering them a 20% discount on new purchases or making donations. They raised the discount to 25% for the 2009 campaign. The figures for the number of donated jeans collected rose each year. In 2008, they had raised more than 125,000 pair of jeans and by 2012, Aeropostale had collected more than a million pair of jeans for distribution. They sweetened the pot by donating 10,000 pair of brand new jeans to the effort in 2008 and 2009.
16. Aeropostale helped out after the Haiti earthquake crisis
When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Aeropostale developed a campaign to help the survivors. For every pair of jeans that Aeropostale's customers purchased from the brand, the company sent one brand new pair of jeans to Haiti. This signified a major contribution from the brand and although it cut profits on jeans by half during the promotion, they maintained the commitment to help others who were in need.
17. Aeropostale is about raising awareness and helping the community
The need for clothing for homeless kids was great, and in 2015, Aeropostale joined forces with The Vamps, a British pop band to help promote awareness of the problem. Schools were encouraged to take up collections of jeans. The brand put out the incentive that the school raising the largest number of jeans would be given a private concert from The Vamps. The project was a huge success with more than 82,000 in participation and together, the group collected 722,072 pair of jeans for distributio to those in need.
18. Aeropostale believes in and supports education
While it's great that the brand is supportive of homeless teens and clothing them, their concern goes even further beyond this. They organized a program that they called the Real Teen Contest. If was aimed at discovering new talent in teenagers. There would be a total of 8 winners in the competitions who would each received a $5,000 personal college scholarship.
19. Aeropostale has had legal issues
The company has gone through its share of ups and downs. They were accused of infringing on a patent in March of 2007. It was alleged by Card Activation Technologies, in a lawsuit they filed against Aeropostale in the state of Illinois. Aeropostale was also accused of the same violation by Picture Patents, LLC in New York in 2007, then again in July of 2009 by Furnace Brook, LLC in Northern Illinois.
20. Aeropostale has had financial problems and scandal
In 2006, one of the leaders of Aeropostale was convicted on sixteen crimes. These included 14 counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Christopher Finazzo, was the Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for the company. He was terminated and the courts found him guilty on a total of 16 counts of criminal activity. In 2016, Aeropostale was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after they experienced thirteen quarters of losses. They were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May of 2016. Many of Aeropostale's stores were closed at this time. They shut down all 41 stores in operation in Canada. Also 113 of the 739 stores that were open in the United States. After exiting bankruptcy in September of 2016, they were assisted by a variety of capital investment firms and by January of 2017, the company began to turn around and re-opened more than 500 new stores as new management took over.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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