March 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

American Eagle takes flight and lands with solid web sales

Apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters’ e-commerce sales reached $240 million for 2007, up 30% from 2006. Total sales increased by $261 million, or 9%.

Apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s e-commerce sales reached $240 million for 2007, up by $55.4 million, or 30%, from about $184.6 million the prior year. In comparison overall sales were $3.05 billion, an increase of $261 million, or 9%, from $2.79 billion.

E-commerce made up about 8% of 2007 sales, but grew at more than triple the rate of overall sales. The web accounted for 21% of 2007 sales growth at American Eagle Outfitters, No. 56 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide

Comparable store sales, based on a 52-week year rather than the 53-weeks in 2006 the company used to calculate web and overall sales, were up by 1%.

Ae.com and Aerie.com were the company’s two active web sites in 2007, but two more sites will compliment its plan to grow e-commerce this year. Martin+Osa, an 18-store concept brand targeting women age 28 to 40 that offers “refined” casual clothing and accessories, will launch a web site in April. The company also plans to activate 77kids.com later this year, following the January rollout of the 77kids brand that offers trendy clothing for kids age 2 to 10.

Lou Pietragallo, director of web development at American Eagle Outfitters will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 9-12 in Chicago in a session titled Personalizing the web experience.

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