American Eagle Outfitters: Live Your Life

Last Updated on October 29, 2019

Founded in 1977 by brothers Jerry and Mark Silverman, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., is an American clothing and accessories retail chain, currently boasting 926 US store locations.

American Eagle’s 927 US Store Locations

How American Eagle got its start
In the mid-1970s, brothers Jerry and Mark Silverman were running Silverman’s Menswear which had been in the family for three generations. Headquartered in the Southside Works Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Silverman’s Menswear was a subsidiary of Retail Ventures, Inc.

The brothers were determined to diversify their product lines and grow their company. They realized that by adding new family-owned chains they would be able to operate more than one store in the same mall. So, in 1977, they opened American Eagle Outfitters, offering brand-name leisurewear, footwear, and accessories for both men and women. The store featured products for hiking, mountain climbing and camping.

In 1977 American Eagle Outfitters opened stores
in shopping malls and introduced a catalog.

American Eagle Outfitters store at the Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, Florida.

The chain grew throughout the 1980s and in 1989, the brothers decided to sell their other retail chains and focus solely on their 137 American Eagle Outfitters stores which were located in 36 different states. Over the next two years, the company opened another 16 stores, far fewer than they had hoped. It was at this point that the Schottensteins, who had been 50% owners of the chain since 1980, bought out the Silverman’s family interest and the American Eagle private label brand of casual clothing for men and women made its appearance.

American Eagle’s Private Label Brand

In 1994, with a chain of 167 stores, American Eagle began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. With the Initial Public Offering (IPO) providing the much-needed cash, 90 new stores were opened within the next year. Over the next five years, revenues quintupled to $1 billion and  American Eagle opened the first Canadian store in 2000.

American Eagle, Times Square, New York

American Eagle Outfitters is also the parent company of Aerie.

And the beat goes on…
By the end of January 2016, there were 949 American Eagle Outfitter stores, along with 97 stand-alone and 67 side-by-side Aerie stores located across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom. The company had 21 stores operated by franchise partners in 10 countries.

Geared toward teens and young adults the American Eagle brand includes everything from underwear to outwear and everything in between. Jeans, T-shirts, sweatpants and swimwear, American Eagle has it all.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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