As more of American Eagle’s business shifts toward online, direct-to-consumer sales, it becomes more important for the company to control its own supply chain.

“It used to be that just if you had great brands and you had great products, you won. In today’s world, that’s not the case,” said Rempell. “There’s a bifurcation happening in retail where it’s not just great brands, it’s not just great products, but you need incredibly efficient, agile, fast operations.” If they’re not buying in stores, that’s the only customer service shoppers get.

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