Montreal, Canada-based Gildan Activewear will continue its efforts to resuscitate the American Apparel brand by opening a physical store in Q4 2018 on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles — the site of one of the former chain’s largest units. The store will be interactive and take the “American Apparel experience beyond just buying products,” said Garry Bell, VP Corporate Marketing and Communications for Gildan, according to Bloomberg. However, the planned store is not necessarily a harbinger of further retail expansion.
“We’re opening one [store] and that’s going to be like a test model store for us, and then we’re going to see where that takes us in the future,” Gildan CEO Glenn Chamandy told Bloomberg. “We could franchise, we could open a couple more, we haven’t decided yet.”
American Apparel filed for bankruptcy protection twice, in October 2015 and November 2016. After the second filing, Gildan purchased the brand, clothing inventory and some manufacturing assets, but none of the stores, for $88 million. By that time, the once-trendsetting chain operated just 197 stores worldwide, down from a peak of nearly 300. By mid-2017, all the stores had been shuttered.