American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) is temporarily closing all of its American Eagle and Aerie stores in the United States and Canada effective end of day March 17, 2020. The company said in a statement that this is in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the guidance of government and public health officials. The company added that closures will remain in place until at least March 27, 2020 and all store associates will be compensated for scheduled time during that period.
“We have made the decision to temporarily close our American Eagle and Aerie stores to ensure that we are doing our part to safeguard our communities,” commented Jay Schottenstein, Executive Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of the company, adding, I recognize the days ahead will be challenging, but we remain true to the very heart of our purpose—optimism.”
Through the AEO Foundation, the company has established a relief fund to provide additional assistance to associates affected by COVID-19. In addition, AEO announced that it is withdrawing the first quarter 2020 guidance issued on March 4, 2020, as management expects store closures and the impact of COVID-19 to have a material adverse impact on financial results. The company expected comparable sales increase in the low single digits and EPS to range approximately between 20 cents to 22 cents.
Picture:American Eagle Outfitters press room