American Eagle Outfitters came out with their second quarter results August 27, and while total sales for the quarter ending August 1 had decreased 5%, the company is an example of getting part of their design and merchandising just right. Their redesigned women’s denim collection, especially for youth culture markets, was attractive to a higher percentage of females than ever before.

In Label Networks upcoming Fall Study 2009, in the denim section, American Eagle did far better than usual among 13-25-year-olds in the USA.

According to American Eagle CEO Jim O’Donnell, “Although business remained challenging during the second quarter, we are making clear progress on key AE brand initiatives. Most notably, our redesigned denim collection is receiving an extremely favorable response from customers, and posting positive results. Additionally, the women’s assortment has continued to gain traction through the back-to-school season. As we look ahead to the holiday season and beyond, I hope to see steady improvements throughout our entire business, across each brand. We continue a relentless focus on strengthening our organization with talent and streamlined processes, as well as our connection to customers. In parallel, operational efficiency and financial discipline remain the governing principles of our business.”

DC Shoes Lay-Offs
Despite being the highlight of the Quiksilver empire, DC Shoes announced on August 26th that it had indeed laid off about 10% of its staff. News of the lay-offs hit Twitter reports at the end of the week like a hurricane, and then was confirmed by a quick blurb on Transworld Business. However since Quiksilver’s company’s earnings report is scheduled for September 3rd, Thursday, we’ll have to wait until then the get the scoop.

J.Crew Reports Increase
Other retail news of note is that J Crew, riding the reintroduction of prep-wave, announced their second quarter results August 27 with revenues increasing 6% to $357. 6 million and store sales increase 7% to $259.1 million What’s even moer interesting is that their direct sales increased 12% in the second quarter, confirming that online retail is becoming a much larger piece of the revenue pie for many fashion retailers, especially if they’re on point with current fashion trends.

Not resting on their good quarter however, Millard Drexler, J. Crew%uFFFDs Chairman and CEO stated: “We are and have been on a long term mission to be recognized for our quality, style, design and service. This mission puts %uFFFDtaking care of our customers%uFFFD front and center in every part of our business — our products, our service, our store environments and our web site. While we are pleased with our second quarter results, we always have our eye on where our customer is headed and the need to constantly challenge ourselves to be creative and innovative.”

For more information on Label Networks%uFFFD Fall Youth Culture Study 2009, email; (323) 630-4000. (The Fall Study 2009 is available for free for Premium Subscribers 2009).