At AEO we believe in the importance of treating our associates, customers, communities, and partners with compassion, understanding and fairness.
Earlier this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, there was widespread closures of retail stores and global supply chain production facilities. AEO had to make immediate and difficult business decisions, which included closing nearly 1,000 American Eagle and Aerie stores across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to protect the health and well-being of all of our stakeholders. At the same time, we recognized the importance of standing together with our suppliers who make our products. During that time, AEO:
- Held to our Vendor agreements and accepted 100% of existing finished goods and work in process against confirmed purchase orders.
- Accelerated payments for all remaining spring/summer orders to help the liquidity of our suppliers, and paid all invoices within days after invoicing. We paid our vendors quickly and on time because it was clear that they would be in urgent need of cash payments to withstand the impact on their businesses and continue to pay their workers and raw material suppliers.
- Remained dedicated to protecting workers in our supply chain. We are proud to have endorsed the International Labour Organization’s (ILO)“COVID-19 Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry” and continue to participate in ILO’s work for stronger social safety systems in our sourcing countries.
Our goal has always been to create strong, supportive relationships with our factory partners and to work collaboratively with them.
While we negotiated a one-time discount on a small amount of unshipped orders last April, we continued to take deliveries and pay invoices immediately.
With stores reopened and online demand strong, we anticipate being able to continue supporting our supply chain vendors through the rest of 2020 and beyond.