American Apparel will be closing all 110 of its retail stores, as well as its Los Angeles headquarters. The popular retailer, known for colorful cotton basics and its “Made in America – Sweatshop Free” logo, was acquired by Gildan Activewear on Jan. 10 for $88 million. At its peak in 2007, the bankrupt retailer was valued at $1 billion.
Gildan, a Canadian t-shirt and underwear maker, will close all American Apparel stores by the end of April. As many as 3,400 employees could lose their jobs. “This was always about buying assets out of bankruptcy,” Gildan spokesman Garry Bell told the L.A. Times. “The reality is this wasn’t a purchase of an ongoing concern.”
American Apparel was founded in 1989 and known as much for its edgy marketing campaigns, often featuring edgy models in minimal clothing, as its controversial founder, Dov Charney.
The brand ultimately failed to close enough stores and adapt to the demands of the fast-fashion industry, with teens turning to cheaper retailers, like H&M and Forever 21. American Apparel filed for bankruptcy again last November. The layoffs of American Apparel employees began on January 17, 2017. The layoffs came days after the Gildan Activewear, a Canadian retailer purchased the brand for $88 million.
As the stores close, the company’s goods will likely get picked up by wholesale buyers. These items will still carry American Apparel tags, but at a lower cost.
Kerri L. Hill