Aéropostale (New York) debuted its first street-front flagship in New York on West 34th Street this week. The 5700-square-foot location is bigger than the chain’s mall units, which average 3500 square feet, and features a new interior prototype, including a 20-by-9-foot graphic above the cash wrap and dressing rooms with grid ceilings with lights that cast star shadows and doors that fog up when a customer enters.
The new flagship “gives us an opportunity to see how we operate” a street store, Thomas Johnson, executive vp and chief operating officer, told Women’s Wear Daily. “There’s a variety of locations that we’re looking at. When you go around the different boroughs, you see Aéropostale on a lot of people. We want to give them a lot of distribution.”
The company plans to have 250 of its 939 total units in line with the new prototype design by the end of the year. “In the last 12 to 24 months, we’ve taken a more thoughtful approach to store design, including the store’s exterior,” he says.
Johnson, who next year will become co-chief executive officer with Mindy Meads, Aéropostale’s president and chief merchandising officer, told WWD that the company averages over $600 a square foot as a chain and predicts the new store’s sales per square foot will exceed that number.
The company recently announced record October sales results, with same store sales growing 3 percent while net sales increased 9 percent for the four-week period ended October 31, 2009.
The mall-based, specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories for young women and men operates 894 Aéropostale stores and 11 P.S. from Aéropostale stores for 7 to 12 year-old kids.