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“As an aesthetic for American Eagle Outfitters we really like polished concrete flooring.” — Michael Smith, Director of Store Design.
The New York City flagship store inspired polished concrete for all stores. The flagship American Eagle Outfitter store on 34th Street in Manhattan received a major remodeling in 2009. It was with this introduction of their 2012 store that polished concrete flooring became more central to design for all AE stores nationwide because the flagship store had a greater focus on polished concrete flooring.Â As a result of that success of the flooring, most American Eagle Outfitters mall stores now combine polished concrete flooring slab with real wood inlay pads.
American Eagle Outfitters has grown to more than a thousand stores. A typical American Eagle Outfitters mall store is about 7,000 ft.², of which 4,000 ft.² is polished concrete flooring with 3,000 ft.Â² of real wood inlay in the center of the store. Part of the magic that makes the American Eagle Outfittersâ€™ polished concrete floor especially appealing is that aggregate particles are scattered into the topper when poured.
Store designers described a collaboration design process. “It’s definitely not just a one or two person-driven design process,” says Smith. The well-known architect firm, BAR Architects, pulled swipes of various flooring options, such as rough wood, reclaimed lumberÂ as well as polished concrete. After the store design team choose polished concrete flooring, the retailerâ€™s group was bought in to see polished concrete prototyped onÂ the AE warehouse floor.