End Of An Era: American Apparel Closes Stores And Moves To Canada

American Apparel is closing its American stores and heading to Canada. The brand has been bought out by a Canadian wholesale company that had no interest in buying its remaining stores, which means that all its stores will close within the next 100 days, reports the Los Angeles Times.

For the next few weeks, American Apparel will have a 40 percent-off-everything sale, including its online store. According to Racked, all of its locations will most likely be picked over while the best way to shop is on the store’s website. Here are just some of the items that will be reduced.

  • The Unisex Tri-Blend hoodie that’s regularly $52 will be on sale for $31.20, while the Unisex Flex Fleece Zip Hoodie that’s regularly $48 will be $28.80.
  • The Unisex Tri-Blend V-neck Long T-Shirt that regularly sells for $34 will be reduced to $20.40 after discount. The classic Tri-Blend V-Neck T-Shirt that’s regularly $24 will be reduced to $14.40 and the Unisex Poly-Cotton Short Sleeve Crew New that regularly sells for $20 will now be $12.
  • The Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Track T-Shirt is on sale for $31.80, the Power Washed Tee is on sale for $37.20, and the Fine Jersey Short Sleeve Women’s T-Shirt is on sale for $30.60.
  • American Apparel’s popular bodysuits and underwear will also be on sale. The Cotton Spanx Halter Bodysuit that sells for $25 is on sale for $11.40 and the Cotton Spandex Tank Bodysuit that regularly sells for $26 is on sale for $15.60. The Cotton Spandex Jersey Tap Panty that usually sell for $12 are not just $7.20, and the American Apparel knee-high socks that used to be $13 are now $7.80.

American Apparel will close 110 stores by the end of April, with as many as 3,400 employees expected to lose their jobs. No word on whether its online store will still be available to U.S. customers. This news comes after the brand first filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and once again last November. The controversial clothing company will lose all its American retail stores and Los Angeles-based headquarters after it was purchased out by Montreal-based company Gildan Activewear, according to the Los Angeles Times report.

“This was always about buying assets out of bankruptcy,” Gildan spokesman Garry Bell told the Los Angeles Times. “The reality is this wasn’t a purchase of an ongoing concern.”

Gildan has stated that American Apparel will still live on, however, it’s not going to be the same brand that it always was. The brand has been under controversy for years when it came to its sexually-charged ad campaigns, worker complaints reported to the National Labor Relations Board, and after its Canadian-born founder, Dov Charney, was ousted in 2014 for allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of company funds. Charney is now working on a new business, according to his website, that includes an ongoing photography project that’s titled “That’s Los Angeles.”

american apparel sale
American Apparel is now having a 40 percent off sale. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

“The company was highly successful. Prior to my ousting, it generated $5 billion in the last 10 years,” Charney argued in an interview on Friday, Jan. 13. “This is a manifestation of Wall Street malfeasance. The company got driven into the ground.”

American Apparel faced massive debts and an even larger drop in sales over the past three years. The company turned to private investors to help them get back on their feet. At the company’s bankruptcy hearing last November, its second bankruptcy filing in two years, the company reported $177 million in debt.

“The story of American Apparel is the best and worst of all things,” said Mark Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. “As brilliant a merchant and marketer as [Charney] was, he was guilty of never having taken seriously enough the need to organize his company efficiently, especially to offset the fact that he was working with domestic manufacturing.”

american apparel store
American Apparel will close over 100 stores. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

American Apparel was popular with hipsters and millennials who loved wearing the brand’s basic T-shirts. The company combined made-in-America coolness with over-the-top sexual advertising that targeted the younger demographic.

What are your thoughts on American Apparel closing its doors? Will you miss shopping for the brand? Sound off below in the comments section.

[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]