New Owners Will Help Aéropostale Keep 400 Stores Open

Aéropostale
An Aéropostale storefront.
Courtesy image.

Things are looking up for teen mall staple Aéropostale.

Four months after the debt-saddled retailer filed for bankruptcy protection, a consortium that comprises Authentic Brands Group (ABG), General Growth Properties (GGP) and Simon Property Group (SPG) finalized the acquisition of the brand.

Aéropostale will now keep 400 of its stores open.

In a plan approved by the bankruptcy court on Sept. 12, the retailer thought it could save just 229 of its 700-plus stores, but a last-minute deal with some mall operators for lower rents boosted that number by 171 stores.

In addition to those branded mall stores, the consortium said Aéropostale will continue to be available in more than 700 retail doors globally and about 300 doors across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“We are pleased to be part of this consortium that has saved thousands of jobs and preserved a legendary American brand,” said David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group, in a release.

Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of brand management firm ABG — which owns and manages brands such as Juicy Couture, Tretorn and Jones New York — noted the consortium will bring a “new approach” to brand development at Aéropostale.

“The purchase of Aéropostale propels the retail revenue driven by ABG’s brands to over $4.5 billion in retail sales worldwide,” he added.

Executives at the companies comprising the consortium spoke confidently about the future of Aéropostale after emerging from the Chapter 11 process.

“Aéropostale has significant brand equity, and the go-forward portfolio of stores generates more than $1 billion in global retail sales, over $800 million of which is from the U.S.,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of GGP, in a release. “The entity is financially secure and well-capitalized, and we are very pleased that thousands of jobs will be preserved.”

Earlier this month, teen lifestyle brand Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. emerged from bankruptcy under new ownership and with several million dollars in extra capital to boot.

Five months after filing for Chapter 11 protection, PacSuc is now in the hands of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which is providing an additional $20 million in capital to the firm.