Temporarily Closes all American Eagle and Aerie stores across the United States and Canada
PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)– American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) today announced that in order to protect its people and communities it is temporarily closing all of its American Eagle and Aerie stores in the United States and Canada effective end of day March 17, 2020. This is in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the guidance of government and public health officials. The closures will remain in place until at least March 27, 2020 and all store associates will be compensated for scheduled time during that period. Online shopping via ae.com, aerie.com and through the AE/Aerie app will continue to operate as normal.
“At AEO, above all else—our people come first. With that in mind, 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. “The safety and well-being of our associates, customers, and partners around the world remain our priority. I recognize the days ahead will be challenging, but we remain true to the very heart of our purpose—optimism. We will continue to serve our customers with an exceptional experience through our strong digital channel.”
AEO is also taking the following steps to support its associates: working from home; staggered work schedules for in-office requirements to facilitate social distancing; and implementing enhanced sanitization and deep cleaning of operated facilities.
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. AEO ended fiscal 2019 with $417 million in cash and short-term investments and no debt and has recently drawn $330 million on its revolving credit facility to further bolster near-term liquidity.