American Eagle stores to open in February
Clothing retailer to inaugurate its first six Israel branches on February 3 in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Netanya and Haifa. Additional stores to open a week later in Kiryat Ono, Raanana and Rishon Lezion. Prices expected to be slightly higher than in US
Additional stores will open on February 5 in the Kiryat Ono Mall, on February 6 in Raanana's Renanim Mall, and on February 10 in Rishon Lezion's Gold Mall. The 10th store will open in the Kiryon Mall in Kiryat Motzkin on February 15.
A VIP sale for 500 people will be held on February 2 at the Ramat Aviv Mall. Guests will enjoy country music and American-style refreshments: Hamburgers and hotdogs.
American Eagle Outfitters is an American fashion retailer which sells basic and trendy clothes, and is said to be the cheap version of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister.
The chain specializes in cheap jeans and a variety of accessories, and offers the aerie intimates sub-brand which targets 15- to 21-year-old girls and will also be sold in Israel.
The retailer's franchiser in Israel is the Fox Group. Harel Wizel, one of the group owners, told Ynet in the past that the prices in Israel would be slightly higher than in the United States due to transport costs and VAT.
Meanwhile, the Hamashbir Lazarchan department store chain is already selling basic American Eagle items, although not necessarily from the current season. Fox and American Eagle Outfitters tried to prevent the sale through an injunction, but an Israeli court denied their request.
Grandiose opening planned
Two years after H&M and Gap entered Israel, and 15 years after ZARA changed Israeli fashion consumption habits, the Israeli fashion industry, which generates NIS 11 million (about $2.9 million) a year, continues to attract international chains.
While the first Forever 21 store increased traffic at Tel Aviv's Azrieli Mall, Gap's new owners have promised to reduce prices by 20% this year. COS by H&M is expected to open a store at the Ramat Aviv Mall, and additional chains may arrive in Israel as well, including Gap's Old Navy and even Uniqlo and Urban Outfitters.
American Eagle plans to follow in the footsteps of H&M and Forever 21 with grandiose inauguration celebrations in Tel Aviv. According to Fox, some NIS 40 million ($10.5 million) will be invested in the series of openings.
"Everything you see in a store in Soho or Times Square will reach Tel Aviv," Wizel promised. "It's the biggest brand for young people in the US with more than 1,000 stores. The jeans company sells over 30,000 items a year.
"We are familiar with the brand's power for more than 20 years, and we know that the brand is suitable for the State of Israel. We'll bring to Israel jeans at the highest level ever seen here, the world's leading real American jeans for sane prices. We'll be the first in Israel to sell jeans by length, and we'll also sell middle sizes – 31 and 32."
He added that "the entire underwear industry for young women is about to undergo a revolution in terms of the variety of prices, models and shopping experience. Underwear will become a dream, so that all Israeli girls who have been buying aerie abroad will thank us."