WANT TO CHAT? WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!
The events of the last several weeks have changed our lives in ways that were previously unimaginable. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on businesses, the economy, and our communities. As a result of ongoing closures of American Eagle and Aerie stores across North America, we need to take steps to maintain financial stability and to ensure AEO Inc. emerges from this crisis healthy and strong—ready to serve our associates and our customers.
We are making some of the most agonizing decisions we have faced in AEO’s history. The most difficult of these actions involve our people. Beginning April 5, we will implement a temporary furlough of both full-time and part-time associates, which largely reflects the continued uncertainty around the duration of store closures.
Additionally, in order to ensure financial health, we have also taken the following proactive measures:
Reductions to operating expense, delayed merit increases for associates, a hiring freeze and other cost saving initiatives;
A suspension of our share repurchase program and deferred payment of the first quarter cash dividend;
Cuts to inventory receipts to align with lower demand due to store closures;
Reduced capital expenditures across stores, IT and other projects. The company will continue to invest in digital and DC capabilities to position us to better serve our online customers.
This is not business as usual. These are painful decisions, which were carefully and thoroughly considered. However, they are necessary for AEO to emerge from this difficult time in our history more nimble and ready for the future of retail, with the mental and physical health of our customers and associates top-of-mind in everything that we do.
We would like to thank our dedicated teams and loyal customers. Together we will get through these dark times and emerge stronger than ever before. Click here to learn more.
FAQ regarding COVID-19
We have created an associate resource center for furloughed AEO associates. Please click here for information on contacts, benefits information and unemployment resources. You can learn more about AEO Inc.’s response to COVID-19 here.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve adjusted our practices to ensure that we’re fulfilling orders in a way that protects the health and safety of our associates — and as a result, orders will experience shipping delays.
We're truly grateful for our distribution center associates. They are keeping us all going, and we want to assure you of the safety measures we’re taking for them, including:
- An increase in safety gear available
- On-site nurses and temperature scanning
- Regular sanitization and deep-cleaning
- Increased distance between work stations
- Staggered breaks and social distancing
Thank you so much for your patience during this time.
We are making informed decisions based on facts and science, following the guidance of federal, state, and local health organizations. All stores have been closed since March 17. We are closely monitoring the guidance and recommendations of the federal, state and local governments and will make decisions regarding reopening as more information is available. When we do reopen stores, we will make sure we do so with our people in mind; we have sought expert medical guidance, purchased the best available cleaning and preventative medical supplies, and implemented appropriate protocols so that no matter when or where our people shop, we can help ensure they do so safely.
Any associate that is ill or has symptoms is able to take time off, and we are doing all that we can to remove financial barriers for all of our people so that they can receive diagnostic testing or medical care when needed. We have also taken the following immediate steps for our teams and communities:
- We have initiated an associate response plan to ensure all AEO store associates receive compensation for scheduled work time.
- In our distribution centers, we have maximized cleaning measures to ensure safe product shipping. In addition, we have increased the safety gear available, staggered shifts and breaks to reduce the amount of associates spending time together in close proximity, increased the distance between workstations, and implemented additional safety measures, such as on-site nurses.
- Our corporate associates are working remotely if they are able to do so, and meeting only in small groups if at all. We are using technology to help keep us connected and we are still meeting and collaborating digitally.
- Through the AEO Foundation, we have provided support to impacted regions through Good360 and have established a COVID-19 relief fund to help associates who may be impacted by this health crisis.
You can wait as long as you need – there is no time limit to provide a full refund, charge back to a credit card, make an exchange, or issue an AE Gift Card.
For orders purchased at a store, please hold onto your items until the stores reopen. This will make the return/refund process quicker and more efficient for YOU. If we send these returns back to the DC it will be processed in 2-4 weeks.
For orders that were purchased online, visit our help section to start a return. We are currently not accepting exchange orders.
You will not be charged for this order.
If you would like to place a new order, please visit ae.com to place an order that will be shipped to a new address.
No, we are refunding orders that are currently coming back as undeliverable. Please replace your order with your correct address, and we will refund your other order once we receive it at the Distribution Center.
No, we are currently not accepting exchanges due to the volume. Please hold onto the items until the stores reopen to initiate the exchange.
The temporary closure of all AE and Aerie stores across the U.S. and Canada is now expected to extend beyond the initial March 27, 2020 estimate. The company will continue to monitor guidance from government and health officials to determine when to re-open stores. Please visit ae.com to make any purchases.