Communication & Retention

We strive to be an open environment - open to listening, open to new ideas.

At our Corporate Office, New York Design Center, and Distribution Centers in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Canada, our CEO and senior leaders hold regular roundtable discussions with randomly selected groups of associates. These sessions provide an open forum in an intimate setting for associates to ask questions and speak directly with senior leadership.

We encourage an open-door culture based on two-way dialogue and feedback, and we strive to foster open discussion and questions between associates and managers. We support the right of free association for all associates, and a trade union represents associates in our Canadian distribution center.

"I am a long time AE associate. Long story short, I filled out a survey and got called into a meeting with Jim [O'Donnell]. I didn't even know what a "round table" meeting was about, but I learned quickly that it had to do with my feedback on the survey. I was anxious and he seemed angry, but this meeting ended up being one of my proudest AE moments. The fact that our CEO took time out of his busy schedule to hear my feedback and that he genuinely cared about my input was fantastic. The AE culture has taught me so much about collaboration, believing in yourself, and embracing new ideas. And by the way, I received a personal follow up e-mail from Jim."
- Cindy D., Finance

Key highlights of our communication channels include:

  • Regular CEO-led meetings for all office and distribution center associates to hear from senior leadership and ask questions about the company's past, present, and future.
  • AE Life, our intranet and quarterly e-magazine.
  • Monthly Distribution Center Chats.
  • Daily Start-Up Meetings held in the Distribution Centers by each department supervisor to discuss shift goals, safety information and campus events.
  • Three Regional Store Management Meetings per year, which are followed by Take It Back meetings between store managers and store associates.
  • Customer First, which defines our approach to communication throughout the company and strives to ensure that every customer leaves our stores happier than when they walked in. Customer First reminds us that - like every associate - each AEO, Inc. customer is an individual with unique needs, and that we should be real and ready for every person who walks through the door.
  • Communication Center for store associates, which provides personalized selling goals, promotional news and new product knowledge to ensure associates are adequately equipped to meet each customer's unique needs.
  • AEOTV, a beloved cornerstone of Communication Center, which provides up-to-the-minute, short training videos featuring product knowledge and selling tips directly from our design team. AEOTV segments are shot in a "behind-the-scenes" environment which helps store associates understand our design inspiration and the hottest fashion trends.
  • Our confidential Speak Up Program for corporate associates to speak with the Human Resources team, and an Alert Line which is managed by an independent third-party and anonymously connects store associates with Human Resources.
  • The confidential AE Hotline, which provides a toll-free phone number and secure website managed by an independent third-party for associates to voice serious concerns.