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American Eagle Begins Holiday Preparations, Hiring Takes Off

Zacks

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. AEO is ramping up holiday preparations to make this year’s shopping fest a success. The company intends to hire around 22,000 part-time associates for the American Eagle and Aerie brands for optimizing customer experience. The hiring event will be held at the company’s stores on Oct 14 in the United States and Canada.

The company is searching for brand advocates to form part of the selling team and fill important positions. These associates are entitled to a 40% discount on merchandise and can participate in special contests for prizes and giveaways. Candidates can apply at the company’s local stores.

Holiday season is the busiest and crucial time for retailers, marking the greatest selling period of the year. At this time, retailers are on their toes, flooding the market with offers and promotions. Early-hour store openings, huge discounts and numerous other promotional strategies are the essential characteristics of the season. The season brings an opportunity for retailers to improve its comparable-store sales (comps) as well by increasing store footfall and other omni-channel initiatives.

Hiring of seasonal workers is a common plan for retailers at this time, expecting to reach out to more customers with high-class shopping experience. Apart from American Eagle, retailers such as The Gap, Inc. GPS, Target Corporation TGT and Macy's, Inc. M have announced plans to hire associates for the upcoming holiday season. Gap plans to deploy around 65,000 seasonal employees for its Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy stores as well as call centers and distribution centers. Target intends to employ about 1,20,000 associates, a 20% increase compared with the prior year. Likewise, Macy's intends to hire approximately 80,000 seasonal workers for its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, distribution centers, call centers and online fulfillment centers across the country.

While the holiday season is a few weeks away, these hiring plans show that retailers are on their toes to serve the season’s extravagant footfall and make most of this holiday shopping period.

American Eagle’s Initiatives

American Eagle is striving to develop its omni-channel platform to reach customers in every possible way. Apart from enhancing its digital presence, the company is investing in store fleet. In second-quarter fiscal 2018, digital sales contributed about 24% to net sales, which also marked the company’s 14th straight quarter of double-digit e-commerce growth.

Moreover, trends in brick-and-mortar stores continued to improve as both American Eagle and Aerie stores reported positive in-store comps, increasing high-single digits. Notably, the American Eagle brand is gaining from its leadership position in bottoms, with jeans business recording 20th consecutive quarter of comps growth. In fact, this marked Aerie brand’s 15th straight quarter of double-digit sales growth, reflecting a significant momentum in all areas of the business.

Further, American Eagle has a robust comps trend, having delivered 14th straight quarter of positive comps in the fiscal second quarter. Comps are benefiting from the company’s solid strategic initiatives and ability to boost market share through strong brands and compelling merchandise. Both digital and in-store businesses have been contributing to comps growth. Also, the company is witnessing higher transactions driven by an increase in traffic and conversion.



In a year’s time, shares of American Eagle have surged a whopping 66.1%, significantly outperforming the industry’s 27.5% rally.

Presently, American Eagle carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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