American Eagle online sales drop on easing COVID-19 curbs, shares slump

FILE PHOTO: A view of an American Eagle Outfitters store in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott

(Reuters) – American Eagle Outfitters Inc reported quarterly revenue that missed estimates on Thursday as the apparel retailer’s online business slowed following vaccinations and the easing of some COVID-19 curbs, sending its shares tumbling 12% before the bell.

The company’s second-quarter digital sales fell 5% from a year earlier, hurt by customers shopping more at brick-and-mortar stores as well as stiff competition from e-commerce giants including Amazon.com Inc.

Major retailers including Target Corp and Gap Inc have reported a slowdown in digital sales in their latest quarterly reports, although they remain higher compared with pre-pandemic levels.

American Eagle’s consolidated revenue from its physical stores, however, increased 73% from a year earlier in the second quarter ended July 31.

The company’s Aerie brand, which sells work-from-home favorites lingerie and lounge wear, posted a 34% rise in revenue to $336 million, while American Eagle label sales jumped 35% to $846 million.

Total net revenue increased 35% to $1.19 billion, mainly as temporary store closures hammered demand for apparel last year. However, the figure came short of Refinitiv-IBES estimates of $1.23 billion.

Excluding items, American Eagle earned 60 cents per share, beating estimates of 55 cents, as it sold more goods at full prices.

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