Tomahawk, WI 01/24/2014 (BasicsMedia) – In a surprise move,American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) has announced that its CEO, Robert Hanson will be leaving the company and Executive Chairman Jay Schottenstien will be acting as the CEO till the company finds a suitable replacement.

The Festive Season To Blame?

Retailers, particularly the traditional brick-and-mortar ones had a bad holiday season, it seems. Could the CEO’s exit from American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) be due to bad holiday sales? After all, the buck stops on this chair. Hanson who had been in the chair for almost two years, had been trying to get the company out of the woods. He has also managed to implement several meaningful and positive changes to the business. The company did manage a good 2012 under his helm. His departure has raised more questions than answers.

The season has been very unkind to these traditional retailer; they have faced an onslaught from the e-commerce platforms. The e-commerce platforms have caught the shoppers’ fancy and taking advantage of low establishment costs and better supply chain management, delivered products at better costs to the consumers. Youth oriented fashion retailers like American Eagle have been hit the most.

The Last Quarter Estimates:

The company has retained its fourth quarter forecast. The going has not been good for the company. It reported some time back that revenues for nine week period ending January 4, fell by 2%, this period covers the crucial holiday sales period. If this was not bad enough, revenues in stores open at least for the last one year also fell by 7%. This is a key metric in the retail industry. It comes on the back of poor third quarter results. The company had reported that net income fell by a hefty 68% in the third quarter. In spite of this, American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) expected the fourth quarter net income to be $0.26 per share.

It remains to be seen if the company can deliver on this promise.

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