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The Aeropostale outpost in Times Square in Manhattan commands attention with its impressive two-story, 19,000-square-foot presence. Never mind the clothes; the store features a 700-square-foot balcony on which an estimated 2 million daily shoppers can dance with virtual Aeropostale models. Recordings of their dance moves then get projected onto the exterior of the building—with a 20-minute delay so the dancers can rush outside to check their moves, broadcast all across the square.

Beneath the balcony sits a range of different zones and sections. The Denim Library, taking its inspiration from New York City Public Library, features antique lighting fixtures, used books, library catalog-style signs, and slanted library ladders. A fiberglass statue of a lion mimics those famous guardians of the entrance of the Public Library. The SoHo Shop features items exclusive to the New York City flagship store. Its cast-iron façade leads to mahogany wood floors and brick walls—just like a trendy SoHo residence. And then there’s the Dorm Room, with its dreamy, glittery chandeliers, oversized settees, and oriental rugs.

But what about the clothes? The fashion retailer is using its Times Square store primarily to build its brand image, with the goal of making shoppers think of Aeropostale as a New York City icon. The various sections with their unique themes also aim to build excitement about the brand. In this roundabout way, Aeropostale predicts that its flagship store will earn more than the $635 per square foot that its other stores average. Perhaps even more important though, if visitors to New York get themselves shown in Times Square, they might visit their local Aeropostale store simply to recreate their incredibly cool New York City experience.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is your favorite store for shopping and for entertainment?

Marianne Wilson, “Aeropostale’s Time Square Flagship,” Chain Store Age,October 22, 2010.

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