I actually didn't visit any store, but I am a longtime customer of AE. In the past few years, AE would almost always have a 40% off everything sale announced with in an email. This year, they had a few BOGO 50% items (works out to 25% off) but that's it. They also had 60% off clearance, but that was a joke as the inventory of clearance items is so small...I couldn't find my size in anything I wanted on clearance (in the past this was no problem, much more clearance inventory). My point of my original post is markdowns are minimal, so margins should be much higher this year....and profits should also be much higher than last year....so far this has been true the last couple of quarters...we'll see if it's still true, but my money says it is.
Almost no markdowns at American Eagle for the July 4th holiday...usually they run a sale for 40% off everything. Also, the wind is at their back as other retailers close locations and their target demographic is finally finding jobs.