Can Selling Other Brands’ Stuff Save American Apparel?

According to WWD, American Apparel will now focus on selling third-party merchandise–the latest in the company’s long struggle to stay afloat.

In particular, the brand has plans to reinvigorate it’s accessories department–which currently only accounts for a small percentage of total sales–by scouting for new, autonomous labels to shill in-store. To that end, Dov Charney and chief business development officer Marty Staff will be visiting trade shows MAGIC and Project later this month (female vendors beware) to suss out what brands they might want to bring into the fold (and what brands are willing). Their footwear department, which the retailer has been steadily growing since launching a few years back, will also benefit from some new additions: According to sources in WWD, “American Apparel is in talks with several sneaker brands regarding potential collaborations.”

I’m not sure exactly what it means when the best way to save your brand means selling other people’s shit but it must be a strategy that works. Over the years, retailers like J. Crew, Madewell and Club Monaco have steadily taken on brands like Barbour, Minnetonka and Birkenstocks, to sell in their stores. Only time will tell if the strategy will work for American Apparel, or if the sagging retailer is beyond hope.

The saga continues.

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