American Eagle Outfitters to open first stores in Israel

Teen clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is ramping up its international presence after signing a multi-year franchise to open a series of retail stores throughout Israel.

Local retailer and wholesaler Fox-Wizel Ltd, which operates 170 Fox stores in Israel, as well as 250 Fox stores internationally, will open American Eagle Outfitters flagship stores as well as freestanding Aerie stores.

The first stores are slated to open in spring 2012.

“International expansion is an important part of AEO’s growth strategy,” said Chris Fiore, executive vice president for international, American Eagle Outfitters.

“As with our other international locations, customers in Israel have embraced the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie brands through extensive travel in North America. They are eager to shop our retail stores at home to complete the lifestyle experience.”

American Eagle Outfitters introduced its brand in the Middle East in March of this year with stores in Dubai and Kuwait, and recently announced plans for stores in Hong Kong and China beginning in early 2011.

The model for the Israeli stores is similar to that of AEO’s other international locations, where the partner handles local operational functions, with American Eagle Outfitters assuming creative approval for assortment, marketing and store locations.

American Eagle Outfitters operates more than 1,000 stores worldwide and, through its e-commerce business, ships merchandise to 76 countries.

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