WWD: American Eagle Cafe to Touch Down in Austin

By: Lisa Lockwood | Link to article

The pop-up will offer free coffee and pastries and key denim styles will be displayed with QR codes for customers to shop on AE.com

From April 4 to 6, American Eagle Cafe, a pop-up experience in Austin, will offer free coffee and pastries to those who stop by. Key denim styles will be on display throughout the pop-up and QR codes will be included in the space for consumers to shop directly on AE.com.

The 400-square-foot shop will be located at 1224 South Congress Avenue and be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are serving coffee from a local coffee shop, Jo’s Coffee, where they roast La Colombe.

Craig Brommers, chief marketing officer of American Eagle, said the pop-up is expected to bring to life the brand’s spring 2024 “Back to Blues” campaign and collection.

“As the number-one jeans brand for Gen Z, we aim to create an innovative space inspired by our denim assortment where our customers can come hang out with us,” said Brommers. “The lounge offers guests a space to work or just spend time with friends while listening to a curated playlist that they can download later on their own time. Additionally, through QR codes posted around the space, customers can directly shop our AE denim online to try out some of our newest spring styles.”

Brommers noted that the Austin location, which is close to an extremely active and populated college town, was ideal for the brand to interact in person with its target demographic, while also opening up the world of American Eagle to new customers. “To date, we haven’t activated in Austin, so it’s a great way for us to test out the market and plan for future stores, events, pop-ups and more,” he said.

Fashion and luxury brands are increasingly introducing cafés, restaurants and hospitality to attract consumers. The coffee business has proven successful for Ralph Lauren, for example. Since 2014, Ralph Lauren has opened coffee shops and Ralph’s Coffee trucks around the world. 

Asked whether American Eagle would consider a permanent coffee shop in the future, Brommers said, “Never say never! We love to interact with our customers and give them a chance to experience the brand in a unique setting outside of a typical store.”

While no additional coffee pop-ups are planned at this time, Brommers said the brand likes to experiment with new cities and connect with customers in real life. “We want to be where they are spending their time — whether that is IRL, in store or online, we always find a way to interact with them, learn from them and give them a new reason and experience to test out AE denim,” said Brommers.

American Eagle Outfitters, whose brands include American Eagle, Aerie and Todd Snyder, had $5.26 billion in revenues last year, and the company is looking to push that up to $5.7 billion or $6 billion in the next three years, as reported.