What has gone wrong for the once-popular mall chain? It's dated. Arguably, its quasi-collegiate aesthetic has fallen out of favor, and the logo-centric look of Aéropostale's traditional sportswear isn't as big as it once was. Instead, most young consumers aim to recreate high-fashion looks at reasonable prices. Forever 21 and H&M provide rapidly served approximations of runway looks, and Aéropostale has been unable to compete with that. Not to say it hasn't tried to evolve: The brand teamed up with the show Pretty Little Liars and teen video blogger Bethany Mota to update its image. But, the numbers don't lie: Those cross-marketing efforts were costly experiments that weren't nearly as fruitful as they needed to be.
No one is saying "RIP" just yet, but the writing may be on the wall. Only three months into 2014 and Aéropostale is already reporting a $68 million loss — up to $150 million financing costs may also be at stake. For now, the brand says it plans to close 50 stores and two P.S. for Kids, and it has hired a real-estate consulting firm to assess future closures. For nostalgia's sake, let's hope it can turn things around. We wouldn't want it to go the way of Radio Shack. (BuzzFeed)