MONTREAL, Canada — Imagine ordering a t-shirt online and being able to click one of two options: made in the USA or produced overseas.
But there’s a catch. If you pick the US-produced version, it will cost you as much as 25 percent more.
That scenario may soon be a reality on the website of American Apparel, which was acquired by Gildan Activewear Inc. earlier this year. The newly merged company is trying to stay true to American Apparel’s domestic-manufacturing roots — a longtime selling point for the apparel retailer — while still offering the lower-cost wares that Gildan makes in other countries.
“There are consumers that really want ‘made in USA,’ so we’re going to cater to those consumers,” Gildan Chief Executive Officer Glenn Chamandy told reporters on Thursday. “But there are consumers that didn’t want to pay the actual price but they love the brand, so now they can also buy the brand.”
Gildan, based in Montreal, purchased American Apparel for $88 million in a bankruptcy auction this year. But the company didn’t acquire the chain’s retail stores. Instead, it aims to use the American Apparel brand to sell more T-shirts and other clothing via wholesalers and e-commerce.
A new American Apparel website will open at the beginning of the third quarter, and it should offer the US-versus-overseas options, Chamandy said. Eventually, American Apparel gear could reappear in brick-and-mortar stores, though the company hasn’t made a decision on that yet, he said.
By Sandrine Rastello; editors: Crayton Harrison, Nick Turner.