American Apparel will open first store in its old Melrose location
The rebooted American Apparel, owned by Canadian company Gildan Activewear Inc., will be opening its first LA store in the same place on Melrose as its old location before it filed for bankruptcy last year.
A spokesperson for Gildan told Bloomberg that the new store will be slightly smaller than the original and will "take part in the full American Apparel experience beyond just buying products."
Garry Bell, Gildan's vice president of corporate marketing and communications, told Apparel News that American Apparel's Canadian parent company felt the timing was right to expand the brand from its relaunched e-commerce site into a new series of retail stores. Bell said, "The brand grew up in Los Angeles and retains its DNA of Los Angeles style and fashion."
Gildan bought American Apparel's business excluding its retail store network last year for $88 million in a bankruptcy auction. The company moved most of its manufacturing out of LA to Honduras and launched a new e-commerce site last year.
In a conference call with investors last week, Gildan president and CEO Glenn Chamandy, said that "American Apparel is doing very well on the e-commerce front." Gildan expanded the site to 200 countries last month and has forecast a sales goal of $100 million this year.
According to Chamandy, Gildan is going to use the new American Apparel store as a test lab to determine a future retail strategy. Gildan has not yet decided whether they may pursue a franchise route or open more stores under their own operations leadership.
Gildan plans to open American Apparel later this year between October and December. The store will be located at 7726 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. Gildan shares rose 5.7% after making the announcement, despite the company missing its Q1 earnings forecast.
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