American Apparel‘s flagship Covent Garden store could be set to close alongside four other outlets.
The American Apparel stores located in Covent Garden, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham, are the stores due to close. This is nearly a third of their UK stores, making it a drastic measure from the controversial brand.
The Los Angeles based retailer is struggling to repair its damaged reputation and finances. The company is also being investigated over alleged misconduct by its founder and chief executive, Dov Charney, who was ousted by the brand back in June due to rumoured significant and unwarranted expenses. Dov Charney founded the company in 1997 with the ambitions of creating a sweatshop free American brand.
This ambition went on to create a brand that paid their garment workers up to fifty times more than their competitors and has the largest sewing facility in North America. These issues were overshadowed by the negative impact the controversial Charney displayed in front of young models. Rumours circulated alongside lawsuits and harassment cases. This disastrously resulted in vast amounts of bad press and investors becoming wary of doing business and affiliating themselves with a character that has such bad behaviour reports.
The brand is hoping to be working alongside UK retail property experts Kitchen La Frenais Morgan to help assist them in the decision. The US retailer is hoping that by closing the stores it will boost the profitability of its British business arm.
After disposing of the non performing shops, it will leave the stores with branches in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Brighton. The pressure will be on the sales team and managers to make sure they do not receive a low performance review as the retailer has proved they are not cautious of closing down their stores.