Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aéropostale Coming to Green Hills Mall

Yesterday, a student of mine told me she discovered the retailer taking the place of the Hallmark at Green Hills Mall- Aéropostale. Now, I’m not going to lie, that store was my jam in 8th grade. It was sooo Dawson’s Creek and all the cool kids were rockin’ it. I had this terrible green flower printed button-up sweater I’d sport with some ill-fitting jeans, puffy vans, and black bandana. Yes, style and fashion was obviously in my future! Clearly, I graduated from Aéropostale a long time ago, but I always find it surprising how relevant the store still is. (Fun fact: Did you know that Aéropostale originally started out as a private label line available only in Macy’s stores? The brand was so wildly successful it branched out into a separate company.)

According to their website, Aéropostale targets 14 to 17 year-old men and women, offering them a selection of casual apparel and accessories. The specialty retailer “provides customers with a focused selection of high-quality, active-oriented, fashion and fashion basic merchandise at compelling values.” Now, does this description match the customer base of the Green Hills Mall? Not so much.
With the arrivals of Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Anthropologie Shoes and Accessories, how exactly does Aéropostale fit into that mix? Seems like a fragmented identity to me. A store like Aéropostale would be better suited for a mall like Cool Springs or (come back to us soon) Opry Mills, where the target audience is different. Green Hills Mall caters to an older and more affluent customer; Aéropostale is not this customer.

Who knows? Maybe this store will bring a new customer base to the mall and shock me with their success. We’ll see… But no more bad sweaters for me.

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