Do shoppers really care if American Apparel clothes have a Made in America label inside?
At least one potential buyer of the company, which this week sought bankruptcy protection for a second time, wants to find out.
“If it’s important to the brand, I’m not sure we are interested in buying it,” said the executive, who is planning to conduct consumer research to determine whether shoppers would bypass the brand if its T-shirts, jeans and dresses were made in another country.
But now that forces are against apparel manufacturing in the US — particularly in California, where the minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour by 2021 — American Apparel’s factories have a slim chance of surviving, say industry experts.
American Apparel reached an agreement on Monday with Gildan Activear, which has agreed to buy American Apparel for $66 million pending Bankruptcy Court approval. Gildan, a Montreal-based company with manufacturing operations in the US, has said it might be interested in retaining the company’s factory operations.
The potential buyer, who did not want to be identified, added that American Apparel’s prices don’t support being made in this country.
“At those price points, I don’t think you can keep the factories,” the executive said.
American Apparel remains committed to keeping its LA factories open.
“The Company has regularly communicated to its employees and all other stakeholders that ‘Made in USA’ is a core part of the brand, and also a big part of what our loyal customer base believes in,” the company said in a statement. “None of the bids being seriously considered involve offshoring jobs. Gildan has expressed interest in maintaining our manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, and we look forward to evaluating other competitive bids during the auction, several of which also include interest in our retail business.”
[Source:-NEW YOURK POST]