AFTER a brief hiatus in the domestic market, apparel brand Aéropostale has reopened a new store at SM North Edsa in Quezon City—the first among four in the pipeline this year—on the back of continuous growth of the local retail industry.
“We want to bring the brand back. We want to welcome anyone to the new beginnings of Aéropostale,” Retail Dynamics Industries Inc. (RDII) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jack V. Halaby said during the opening ceremony on Tuesday.
Aéropostale was operated by a different group in the Philippines for a couple of years. It then closed shop two months ago.
RDII recently took over the license to operate the brand. This is in addition to Guess, Vans, Mango and other leading names in fashion that it carries exclusively for the country.
“There’s a couple of million [of pesos] involved here. Of course, opening a first store always requires a high capital expenses and merchandise, as well. We have to have a lot of inventory. We’re very happy to invest [here],” he told the BusinessMirror in a sideline interview.
The company decided to acquire and relaunch the brand locally mainly because of its high growth potential, according to him.
“Actually, there’s a good perception of the brand with existing customers. So we want to bring in like a new shopping experience; a new brand experience for our customers. And we believe it’s going to be a great success,” he explained.
Originated from the United States in 1987, Aéropostale offers casual clothes and accessories to the country’s young population aged between 16 to 26 years old.
“It has its own unique and authentic style. We believe that’s what makes it a standout from the competition,” the COO said. “We’re very confident that our customers would love our new design and collections.”
In an effort to localize the brand, RDII plans to use some fabrics fit for the country’s tropical climate. The firm is, likewise, allowed by the principal to infuse its own design to adopt to the local fashion trend.
Upbeat on the market reception, two or more Aéropostale branches will open before the year ends in other Sy-led retail establishments, including Megamall in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City. It will also be available in department stores and e-commerce platform.
“We want to rush a little bit on opening more stores,” Halaby stressed. “We need to reach a certain scale where the business becomes interesting and the footprint so that people can really see the brand in different channels.”