American Apparel plans to re-enter the Canadian market through a new digital retail site, set to launch tomorrow. Originally founded in California, American Apparel is now owned by Canadian manufacturer Gildan, following brand founder Dov Charney’s series of allegations and suspensions and a bankruptcy auction.
"It is kind of like putting yourself back out in the dating world. You don't know if someone will be interested or not," American Apparel’s brand marketing director Sabina Weber told CBC. "We know Canada is a huge market for us. They have always been so supportive of the brand."
Despite its current ownership by a Canadian company, American Apparel does not have plans for any brick and mortar stores in the country at the moment. Gildan bought the brand almost two years ago and launched e-commerce sales last year.
American Apparel operates a test store in Los Angeles, which Weber told CBC is used to study the brand’s traction and help determine a potential plan for a return to physical retail.
Gildan’s focus has mainly been on strengthening American Apparel’s reputation, as Dov Charney’s allegations of sexual misconduct tarnished the brand’s ethos for many consumers. The brand was originally founded on the principles of high quality, ethical, American-made basic staples. American Apparel plans to standardize and expand its sizing, as well as lower its pricing by up to 23 percent.