It's game on, fast fashion.
Following a years-long product struggle that sent middle- and high-school age shoppers out of teen retailers' stores in search of trendier clothing, there are early indications that two of these companies are finally getting a grip on all that teen angst.
On Monday, Urban Outfitters' younger-skewed namesake label ended a five-quarter streak of comparable-store sales declines, saying it's carried this momentum into the first quarter. The results follow bullish analyst commentary last week surrounding American Eagle's fourth-quarter performance, when the brand topped consensus earnings estimates and its own guidance.
While neither label is out of the woods yet, the two have emerged as pack leaders among the struggling teen set. Urban's 4 percent same-store sales gain and American Eagle's flat results substantially outperformed competitors Abercrombie & Fitch and Aéropostale, which turned in comparable sales declines of 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
"In the midst of product and strategy turmoil among American Eagle's competitors, [it] seems to have bet on the right trends and looks for spring," Janney Capital Markets analyst Adrienne Yih-Tennant wrote in a note to investors.