Troubled US retailer Aeropostale's Singapore outlets open for now

Aeropostale has four outlets here, including one in Ngee Ann City (above). It was reported by The Wall Street Journal on Monday that the teen fashion retailer faces mounting losses and falling sales, and plans to seek Chapter 11 protection in the day
Aeropostale has four outlets here, including one in Ngee Ann City (above). It was reported by The Wall Street Journal on Monday that the teen fashion retailer faces mounting losses and falling sales, and plans to seek Chapter 11 protection in the days ahead.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Teen fashion brand Aeropostale set to file for bankruptcy, shut 100 of its 800 global stores

Aeropostale's outlets here will remain open "for the time being", as the United States teen clothing retailer looks set to file for bankruptcy this week .

It is reportedly planning to close more than 100 of its roughly 800 stores, though it is not clear which outlets will be affected.

Jay Gee Melwani Group, distributor of the brand here and in Malaysia, told The Straits Times it has not heard from New York-based Aeropostale on its plans.

The firm operates four Aeropostale outlets in Singapore - at Bugis+, VivoCity, Ngee Ann City and Jurong Point - and two stores in Malaysia under a licensing arrangement.

"The stores will remain open for the time being, as long as they are able to supply us the goods," Jay Gee Melwani managing director R. Dhinakaran told The Straits Times yesterday. "We are still waiting to hear from them regarding the future direction," he said.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday that Aeropostale faces mounting losses and falling sales, and plans to seek Chapter 11 protection in the next few days before May rent payments are due, WSJ said, quoting unnamed sources.

STATUS QUO

The stores will remain open for the time being, as long as they are able to supply us the goods. We are still waiting to hear from them regarding the future direction.

'' MR R. DHINAKARAN, managing director of Jay Gee Melwani, distributor of the Aeropostale brand here and in Malaysia.

It said Aeropostale intends to reorganise around its remaining stores, but the specific details of its restructuring plan remain unclear.

In the US, several mall-based speciality retailers have filed for bankruptcy in recent years as consumer preferences change and competition from fast-fashion retailers like Uniqlo and H&M hurt sales, said WSJ.

Aeropostale, which opened its first store in 1987 and enjoyed a market capitalisation of nearly US$3 billion in 2010, posted losses in its last three fiscal years as sales plunged. Its market value now stands at some US$2.9 million (S$3.9 million), said WSJ.

The Singapore retail scene has also seen consolidation among chain stores amid tough conditions.

Last month, Jay Gee Melwani said it planned to shutter eight stores in various malls showcasing British brand New Look and French menswear chain Celio in the second half of the year. This followed Al-Futtaim Group's move to shut 10 outlets here under its distribution and retailing arm RSH later this year.

Home-grown brand Raoul also called it a day, shutting its last store here at Paragon in February, The Straits Times reported last month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Troubled US retailer's S'pore outlets open for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe