Columbus Consulting Renews Relationship with American Eagle Outfitters

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Company to help leading lifestyle retailer better define business processes in order to improve sales and inventory productivity, and reduce markdowns

Columbus Consulting, Inc., a leading retail merchandise systems consulting firm, today announced that it has been retained by American Eagle Outfitters (AE) to help the fashionable retailer improve business processes relating to assortment planning, allocation and replenishment. AE, with total annual sales of more than $1.8 billion, currently operates 780 stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 70 stores in Canada.

“American Eagle Outfitters has been one of the most successful retailers for the past couple of years, and is definitely one of the leaders of the industry,” said Rick Amari, president of Columbus Consulting, Inc. “Being selected by a company with AE’s standing is strong endorsement of our capabilities, and we look forward to working with the AE team to implement processes that will help the company continue its long-term growth strategy and vision of being a dominant, multi-brand lifestyle retailer.”

The first phase of the AE project began in the first quarter of 2005. In addition to helping identify areas for improvement in assortment planning, allocation and replenishment, Columbus Consulting will also assist AE in the development of an RFI (Request for Information) for a software vendor selection process. This marks the second engagement with American Eagle Outfitters for Columbus Consulting. In 2001, AE hired Columbus to identify and implement business process improvements for its product development, sourcing and supply chain efforts.

“As a result of our past successful experience with Columbus Consulting, we are comfortable with bringing in Rick and his team to help us once again identify areas of improvements in our business processes,” said Jim Ford, vice president of planning and allocation for American Eagle Outfitters. “In this very competitive retail marketplace, it is important to stay on top of everything relating to merchandising operations. Columbus offers us significant experience in retail operations and technology that we intend to capitalize on in order to streamline operations, improve merchandising processes and maintain our growth.”

About American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters (NASDAQ: AEOS) is a leading lifestyle retailer that designs, markets, and sells its own brand of casual, fashion-right clothing for 15 to 25 year-olds, providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's collection includes modern basics like jeans, surplus, and graphic Ts as well as a stylish assortment of cool accessories, outerwear, footwear and swimwear.

American Eagle Outfitters currently operates 779 AE stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 70 AE stores in Canada. AE also operates via its Web business, http://www.ae.com, which offers additional sizes and styles of favorite AE merchandise.

About Columbus Consulting, Inc.

Founded by industry veteran Richard Amari in 2001, Columbus Consulting, Inc. is comprised of a team of highly experienced specialists in retail systems and processes. The company works with many of the world’s largest and well-known retailers, general merchandisers and apparel stores, including American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Big Lots, CVS Pharmacy, and New York & Company. Columbus Consulting is called upon to provide a variety of services, from managing short-term, high-impact, executive-level advisory services on matters of strategic importance relating to retail systems and processes, to overseeing large, multi-disciplinary, multi-million dollar projects, lasting more than a year. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on Columbus Consulting, visit http://www.columbusconsultinginc.com.

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