American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) announced a total sales increase of 7 percent in 2015, a welcomed growth after several years of struggle for the teen apparel retailer. Most notably, the retailer saw a 100 percent increase in mobile sales.
During a conference call with investors, CEO Jay Schottenstein touted the brand's ship-from-store program, which contributed to about 20 percent of the overall digital business of the fourth quarter. He also noted the 20 percent increase in direct sales, proving that "our investments in technology upgrades and omni tools are delivering."
The growth is good news for American Eagle, which announced in 2014 that it would close 150 stores in three years. The retailer is attempting to turn around declining sales with the help of e-commerce.
The fourth quarter marked America Eagle's fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth and Chad Kessler, global brand president of AE brands, attributed that to "greater quality and value combined with innovation in fabrics and styles." Most notably, 2015 was a stellar year for the company's in-house brand, Aerie, which delivered double digit comps in all quarters.
Moving forward, the teen retailer said it would continue to focus on brand expansion and customer acquisition, while opening 10 standalone and 25 side-by-side stores.
According to COO Michael Rempell, the retailer's sales on mobile grew nearly 100 percent. Back in January, Rempell revealed that American Eagle would launch a new mobile responsive site which will be done by the end of the quarter.
"But we're seeing very nice results including a nice increase in conversion for customers who're coming to us through mobile devices," Rempell added.
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