This Adored Teen Mall Brand Is Making A Comeback

Aeropostale hit a bump in the road when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2016, consequently closing 154 of its 764 stores worldwide. By the end of summer, though, the mall staple had a much more optimistic forecast: It was bought out by Simon Property Group Inc. and General Growth Properties Inc. for $243 million, Bloomberg reported, with the intention of keeping the brand's 229 locations operating. Shortly thereafter, Simon Property Group Inc.'s CEO teased that Aeropostale was plotting a big return, according to Fortune — 500 store locations strong, to be precise. Today, the retailer announced it was making good on its promise of a big comeback.

Aeropostale revealed plans to reopen more than 500 doors across the U.S. starting this week. The brick-and-mortar stores aren't the only ones reacquainting themselves with customers: Aeropostale is revamping its marketing for 2017 to introduce a new "messaging that reflects the true spirit of the brand," according to a press release. Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO of Authentic Brands Group, which owns Aeropostale, describes the retailer's DNA as "free-spirited" and "[appealing] to a young audience who seek brands that deliver authenticity."

Now, are we talking Abercrombie and Fitch's delete-your-entire-Instagram levels of commitment to a brand refresh? That's still unclear, but Aeropostale is urging curious customers to follow along on social media to get to know the brand all over again.

This story was originally published on May 4, 2016.
Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images.
Get ready to mourn the loss of a familiar mall staple. Aéropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning. The chain will immediately close 154 of the 764 locations currently in operation, according to Reuters. Of the locations being shuttered, 113 are in the U.S. and 41 are in Canada.

A retailer going bankrupt is never a particularly pleasant occurrence. But Aéropostale’s scenario sounds a bit messier than most — the brand has accused Sycamore Partners (the private equity firm that controls its largest lender and also one of its largest suppliers) of causing the retailer to go bankrupt. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Sycamore Partners denies those claims.

Last month, PacSun filed for bankruptcy, though the Cali-inflected chain isn’t the only familiar name to go through tough times lately. A couple of other '90s and early aughts teen fashion go-tos, like dELiA*s, Cache, and Quiksilver, have filed for bankruptcy. Granted, Quiksilver was subsequently bailed out and dELiA*s was resurrected last year, solely online, in an acquisition by the same guy who owns ‘90s retail rival, Alloy.

You can parse through a full list of locations shuttering ASAP here to see if your local outpost is disappearing. Which beloved teen brand will bite the dust next?
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