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Tiffany Montgomery
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ICRX Report: American Apparel's basics approach includes more store openings in 2009

By Diana McCabe
January 14, 2009 12:29 PM

American Apparel CEO Dov Charney hopped up to say hello to the crowd at the ICR XChange this morning and then turned the show over to Adrian Kowalewski, who was just named chief financial officer in December.

Here's what Adrian had to say about the LA-based maker of T-shirts, sweats, socks, underwear and other fashion basic apparel. The company is a supplier to the industry, and, increasingly, a retail competitor.

  • It doesn't have to forecast fashion trends because most of its goods are basics.
  • It has good inventory tallies because people want to buy its clothes year-round
  • In 2008, opened 80 new stores, which was more than planned
  • Expects to open 14 stores in 2009

Kind of a surprise: American Apparel moved into malls with 12 leases it picked up from bankrupt Sharper Image. "Those (shops) are doing well," Adrian said. Those consumers went to a mall and "choose to shop at American Apparel."

Store comps: In Q4, the trend was down because of the economy. The slowdown came from its U.S. retail segment - about 39 stores. American Apparel comfortable with this. (Comps in 2008 were 22% vs. 29% in 2007.)

 

 

 

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