MONTREAL-Gildan executives discuss the fate of the American Apparel brand in a recent conference call with analysts. Rhodri Harries, chief financial officer, and Glenn Chamandy, CEO at Gildan, outlined plans for the brand in a Q&A session on Feb. 23 following a report of year-end earnings.
“Our big challenge is obviously re-feeding the (American Apparel) line and getting the supply line up and running,” states Harries. “Customers have bought a lot of inventory, pre-bankruptcy to support the sales, and we should start shipping product towards the end of April and the beginning of May.”
Harries adds that while the company is still evaluating consumer strategy for the brand, he projects American Apparel will be the highest price point of all product lines in the Gildan lineup. Harries also points out that Gildan sees a broader opportunity in international markets with the newly acquired brand.
Known originally for its manufacturing operations in California, the acquisition also poses questions of American Apparel production locales going forward. While Gildan operates yarn-spinning facilities in Georgia and North Carolina, garment manufacturing takes place outside of the U.S.
“We’re definitely going to manufacture product in USA in support Made-in-USA product,” Harries says. “But at the same time, we think that there’s an opportunity to offer product that’s more price-centric basically, and allow us to drive the potential of the brand.”
Chamandy adds that the acquisition affords Gildan the chance to grow in new sectors as well.
“Really where we have a big opportunity is to continue growing through the fashion segment,” states Chamandy. “American Apparel could be the big driver of that, but we have a lot of runway in front of us in international markets.”
In addition to domestic manufacturing, the company says it plans to run a small American Apparel office in Los Angeles. Chamandy says the office “will allow us to keep the heritage of the brand alive, at the same time continue to use social media, a platform to drive the image and brand image of the brand.”
The updates come as the company begins to lay out plans for the recently acquired brand. In early Feb. 2017, Gildan announced it had officially completed the acquisition of American Apparel.
To see the full call transcript, visit http://bit.ly/2lhiJWs