Aéropostale plans to file for bankruptcy protection this week and close more than 100 of its approximately 800 stores, the latest mall-based specialty retailer to fall victim to declining foot traffic.

With fast fashion intensifying the competition, brands like Aéropostale need to innovate more rapidly in order to survive. Despite multiple successes on social platforms, Aéropostale ranks Average in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, falling behind competitors including American Eagle and H&M.

Retailers' reach

The brand wins share of voice on Facebook: together with Michael Kors, it garners a quarter of all interactions with specialty retailers. And on Twitter, Aéropostale secures nearly 1.7 times the retweets and favorites of Index leader Victoria’s Secret – despite having one-tenth of Victoria’s Secret’s followers – thanks to shrewd reliance on influencers.

However, without other investments in areas like mobile and omnichannel, this social success may be a hollow victory. When several Vine stars promoted Aéropostale’s UnitedXXVI clothing line on Twitter, those tweets generated five times as many interactions as other brand content. Teens may come for the Vine stars, but they are not staying to buy clothes.



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