American Apparel kick-starts activity abroad again one year after being acquired by Gildan
The Canadian company closed the brand’s purchase in early 2017. At the moment, American Apparel will operate in the Iberian Peninsula only through ecommerce.
American Apparel starts selling outside of the US again under Gildan’s management. The US company, which was on the verge of bankruptcy and got rescued last year by the Canadian group, has begun again the conquest of international markets just twelve months after it departed the region.
After launching an online platform for the British market in mid-April, American Apparel is now taking orders from more than 200 countries, including several European countries like Spain, France, Sweden, Germany and Italy, among others. “In 2017, we focused on the online relaunch in the United States, but we had a lot of demand from customers, who wanted to know when the brand would be available again on a global scale,” explains Silvia Mazzucchelli, vice president of the brand’s customer division.
“We have looked at the historical success of American Apparel in the world and have focused on the countries where the brand has greater recognition, those where clients have missed it,” adds Mazzucchelli.
American Apparel doesn’t intend to create a team in Europe or build up a store network in the region again in the short term
At the moment, the brand doesn’t intend to create a team in Europe or build up a store network in the region. “We will observe the dynamics of the market and are open to opportunities, but at the moment there are no plans to roll out stores in Europe,” says the manager.
American Apparel began to retreat in Europe at the end of 2016, just a few months after leaving bankruptcy and when it was in the process of being sold. In 2017, Canadian group Gildan Activewear came to the rescue and took control of the brand and assets for 103 million dollars. The agreement excluded the store network, which succumbed to accelerated closures.
Gildan anticipates that brand will double sales this year, reaching a hundred million dollars
Gildan plans now to double American Apparel sales to reach one hundred million dollars this year, compared to fifty million dollars in 2017. The company is focusing its efforts on the online channel and has transferred part of the production outside of the United States, taking advantage of the several factories that Gildan has in Central America and with the aim of attracting new consumers with greater sensitivity towards price.
However, the group does maintain a small production in the United States, with a product price 20% higher on average. “The American of American Apparel always referred to values, not a location itself,” argues Mazzucchelli.
The company has transferred part of the production outside the US: “the consumer cares more about ethical manufacturing”, they defend
“We still offer a small range of products made in the USA to give consumers an option, but we believe that our European clients is more interested in the fact that it is manufactured ethically rather than being assembled in the United States,” she says.
Gildan Activewear recorded a profit of 386.9 million dollars (314.6 million euros) in fiscal 2017, 8.6% more than the previous year. The group’s turnover reached 2,750 million dollars (2,236.3 million euros), compared to 2,590 million dollars (2,106 million euros) in 2016.
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