He went on to say some workers have felt in the dark for some time now, and mentioned changes to the company’s inventory mix that began with the appointment of former chief executive officer Paula Schneider in late 2014 that did not take among the company’s customer base in Germany. He cited the specific example of the company’s high-waisted Easy Jean, which stores ran out of last year, replaced by a low-waisted pant that was not as popular among shoppers.“Unfortunately, this process is not within American Apparel’s control any longer, according to the law and custom of administration,” a company spokeswoman said in response to the protests. “American Apparel took great care to appoint the best administrative professionals in Europe, because we care deeply about our former employees and customers.”
Clarity on what’s to come for American Apparel is hard to come by. The company, in the midst of its second bankruptcy less than a year after emerging from its first, has struck a possible deal to sell its intellectual property along with other assets to Montreal-based Gildan Activewear Inc. for $66 million. The deal does not include the company’s retail units and makes Gildan the stalking horse bidder in a bankruptcy auction that’s expected to shake loose other potential buyers for the business.The odds of a white knight riding in to save all of American Apparel LLC’s U.S. stores is looking more and more unlikely as the clock ticks on the company’s bankruptcy process and last-minute bidders mull their options.
New players, including Amazon and Forever 21, are said to have emerged as potential acquirers. All bids are due into the bankruptcy court today. That process marks the beginning of the next phase for the business, which is expected to be radically changed under new ownership.For American Apparel’s nearly 400,000 square feet of U.S. retail space, along with additional space abroad, it’s already been a slow bleed. WWD has confirmed through workers the planned closures of the company’s stores at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, Calif., Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif., and Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. A fourth on University Center Boulevard in Tucson, Ariz., is also expected to close. Those stores are no longer receiving new inventory, according to workers. A spokeswoman for the company declined comment on the real estate portfolio.