American Apparel’s Bricks-and-Mortar Revival

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By Published On: May 8, 20180 Comments

American Apparel is back from the dead, with online shopping off to a strong start, and an omnichannel shopping experiencing on the horizon with the brand’s return to bricks-and-mortar and 'back to basics' brand marketing.

American Apparel has announced plans to open its first physical store location since the brand was forced to shut them all down when the clothing retailer went into voluntary administration in 2016.

The store is expected to open on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, in the same spot it used to operate one of its flagship stores.

According to Sabina Weber, American Apparel’s director of brand marketing, the company is looking to re-establish the magic that made the brand so popular in the mid-2000s. As part of its re-launch, the company is running TV ads in the UK and US, as part of a broader marketing plan that includes brand messaging on Instagram and paid social advertising.

One of the key points of difference in the company’s new approach to marketing is how well it resonates with consumers. Designed to deliver authenticity, the models are older than they were in the past and are more diverse in size and ethnicity. Plus, the brand claims the models are completely untouched.

American Apparel new store launch

American Apparel is taking a more ‘realistic’ approach to advertising.

Under the guidance of Weber, American Apparel has reportedly brought its brand marketing in-house, in an effort to cut costs and retain creative control over messaging.

“There’s an agile, content-driven team here that is very focused on maximising the dollars we have to spend and that drives a level of creativity that is very important to the brand,” Weber says.

Before American Apparel’s decline, the brand operated approximately 300 stores and was among the most popular clothing retailers in the UK, US, and across the globe. After filing for bankruptcy in late 2016, the company was bought by Canadian apparel manufacturer, Gildan, for $88 million in early 2017.

Re-opening its online store in August last year, American Apparel re-instated shipping to Australia last month, and expects to open its first bricks-and-mortar store under its new ownership in late 2018.

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