REAL ESTATE

Teen apparel retailer reopens 500-plus stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Aéropostale, the teen apparel retailer that most of the industry had written off as dead, has risen like a Phoenix.

Starting this week, the company is reopening more than 500 doors across the United States. In February, Aéropostale will kick off its spring 2017 marketing campaign, which is designed to showcase the brand’s trans-formation under its new owners. The campaign will be in the stores as well as online and through social media.

Aéropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2016, and it appeared headed for liquidation as the months passed. But in Sep-tember, a last-minute consortium, led by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), acquired the chain as a going concern for $243.3 million in an auction. (Also included in the consortium: Simon Property Group, General Growth Properties, Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources.)

“Aéropostale’s DNA is inherently free-spirited and appeals to a young audience who seek brands that deliver authenticity,” said Nick Wood-house, president and CMO of ABG. “We are excited to refresh this iconic brand and introduce our customers to a rejuvenated destination that of-fers great product and a fun shopping experience.”

Added Marc Miller, CEO of Aéropostale. “Our store associates are thrilled for the new Aéropostale and look forward to welcoming new and returning customers into the store.”

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Canadian firm acquires American Apparel — but not all of it

BY Marianne Wilson

It looks like it’s the end of the road for American Apparel — at least as we know it.

Canadian apparel manufacturer Gildan Activewear Inc. emerged as the winner in the court supervised auction to acquire the intellectual property and some other assets of the bankrupt American Apparel brand. The company, however, will not be purchasing American Apparel’s 110 retail stores, leaving the company’s retail future in doubt. Also uncertain is the fate of American Apparel’s garment workers at its factory in Los Angeles.

“We've never been in a position to be able to assume operations," Garry Bell, a Gildan spokesman said in a Chicago Tribune report. "We're not buying an ongoing concern."

Gilden’s $88 million winning bid was higher than its initial proposal of $66 million, which was made back in November as part of a stalking horse portion of American Apparel LLC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

The deal is subject to approval from a bankruptcy court on Thursday.

Gilden, which is based in Montreal, said it will also separately purchase inventory from American Apparel to ensure a seamless supply of goods to the printwear channel while the company integrates the brand within its printwear business.

"The American Apparel brand will be a strong complementary addition to our growing brand portfolio,” said Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan. “We see strong potential to grow American Apparel sales by leveraging our extensive printwear distribution networks in North America and internationally to drive further market share penetration in the fashion basics segment of these markets."

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Party City acquires 18 locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Party City Holdco Inc. continues to acquire its franchised locations.

The company has entered into an agreement to acquire a master franchise group representing 18 franchise stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and with estimated 2016 sales of approximately $34 million. The purchase price is estimated to be $14.5 million to $15.0 million.

“Acquiring franchise stores over time is an integral component of our strategy to invest in growth opportunities at attractive multiples of earnings,” said James M. Harrison, CEO, Party City Holdco. “This acquisition gives the Company total ownership of the Louisiana and Alabama markets, creating an opportunity to open additional company-owned stores over time and strengthen the brand integrity of these locations, improving the experience for our customers.”

Party City Holdco Inc. designs, manufactures, sources and distributes party goods. The company’s retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 160 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the names Party City and Halloween City, and e-commerce websites.

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