American Apparel Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

American Apparel Inc. is an online-only retailer and former brick-and-mortar store operator based in Los Angeles, California. Founded by Canadian businessman Dov Charney in 1989, it was a vertically integrated company that ranked as one of the largest apparel manufacturers and marketers in North America.

JIM EDWARDS wrote a review for CBSN NEWS about Why American Apparel's Discount Advertising Is the Worst Move It Could've Made:

American Apparel (APP) is advertising a sale, offering discounts of up to 50 percent, and that's the worst possible move the troubled company could make right now. (My BNET colleague Carol Tice disagrees. She says it's "exactly what's needed" at the retailer, which faces being delisted from the stock exchange and/or a takeover by its angry creditors.) As Tice notes, AA doesn't usually do discounts, and that's part of the problem. Here's why a fire-sale promotion will only compound CEO Dov Charney's problems:

What's good for the balance sheet may be bad for the income statement: Tice says the extra cash coming from the sale will shore up its balance sheet and help AA convince its creditors that it's reducing inventory and adding cash. But that will have a deleterious effect on AA's income statements: The expenses AA must write off against those sales will be the same as if the items had sold at full price. AA currently trades at a loss. Unprofitable or lower margin sales will only worsen those losses, which are particularly acute at AA because the company recently warned that it may not be a "going concern" (that's accountant-speak for "dead man walking").

AA needs to raise some of its prices, not lower them: Look at page 21 of AA's most recent quarterly earnings report (yes, it's Q1. AA is so screwed up internally that it can't get its own numbers out on time.) The wholesale and internet part of AA's business is much less profitable than the retail segment (i.e. AA's Main Street stores). Yet AA is offering discounts for online shoppers? AA's brand image is tied to its advertising and its retail stores. It should be squeezing its wholesale customers -- the people who buy blank AA T-shirts in bulk to print their own designs on them -- and its web customers for more money. No one cares about those sales because they're under the radar, so raising prices there won't harm the AA brand. Besides, as AA's own numbers show, those customers are getting those items for roughly what it costs AA to make and ship them, give or take $5 million. The web/wholesale segment has comparable revenues to the retail segment, but the retail segment makes a $29 million gross profit. Those prices should, therefore, be marked up.

There are other ways AA can raise cash: It can sell off the useless, overlapping, sales-cannibalizing store locations that it owns (or their leases). AA doesn't need three separate locations in Downtown Manhattan, for instance. Or it could take Charney's father off the payroll. Or the board could ask Charney himself to lend the company some more money (he's done it before). It could reduce advertising expenses (they recently went up again).

You can't go upscale and downscale at the same time: AA recently announced it was going preppy (so say goodbye to your assless stockings and thong leotards!). In order for this repositioning to work, AA must stick to its guns and charge preppy prices. Someone at AA has to believe in the AA brand: The entire purpose of a brand is to extract a price above that of a comparable commodity. Discounts signal "We're not worth it anymore." AA needs -- stick to its brand -- and continue to demand a premium. Discounts are for "brands" that aren't brands -- i.e. goods that no one would bother to pay more for. Is this really the message AA should send to its brand loyalists, especially given the amount of distracting, non-apparel-related controversy the company already suffers from?

This looks like more evidence of non-rational management: There's a case to be made that the quality of Charney's decision-making has become so bad that he needs to be removed as CEO. (Perhaps Bank of America, which is enforcing the restructuring talks, is engineering just that.) Look at the "litigation" section on page 22 of AA's 10-Q disclosure, where legal threats that may pose a material threat to a company are supposed to be listed. Two of them are sexual harassment suits. One of them alleges AA refused to allow its employees to eat during shifts. One is from Woody Allen, alleging wrongful use of his image in an ad. Another is from -- of course! -- shareholders demanding to know what the hell is going on with their investments. Put that all together with a money-losing company that has a thing for porn and has decided to slash prices like Crazy Eddie. Does this feel like rational management to you?

So, customers, take advantage of AA's discounts while they last. The way this company is going, they won't last forever.


Tell the world why American Apparel sucks!

I certify that this review is based on my own experiece and is my opinion of this person or business. I have not been offered any incentive or payment to write this review.


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Former Employee - Director says

"toxic culture, no vacation days,"

Former Employee - Store Manager says

"There’s little to no direction or oversight, employees are underpaid, and corporate management is not competent."

Former Employee - Store Manager says

"Unorganized and inappropriate work environment"

Former Employee - Key Holder says

"horrible corporate management, cared more about the appearance of their employees then customers"

Former Employee - Merchandiser says

"Horrible sexist culture. A company run by a bunch of 20 year olds"

Former Employee - Supervisor says

"One of the worst companies I've ever worked for. Inexperienced upper management, constant theft, inconsistency across the board and completely unprofessional from both hourly and salary employees. No surprise they shut down."

Former Employee - Backstock Associate says

"Verbally abusive manager, condescending attitude, no makeup allowed"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"the working environment was toxic"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Poor execution on many issues related to employees and the business."

Former Employee - Back Stock says

"not challenging, and the work conditions are not good"

Stamper (Former Employee) says

"The cutting Room department is a joke. The boss and supervisor takes their orders from a regular employee. You get treated like you are worth nothing."

Sewing Machine Operator (Former Employee) says

"It paid my bills and allowed me to gain much experience in the sewing manufacturing business. It had its good points and low points. I stayed there for 5-6 off and on."

Sewing Machine Operator (Current Employee) says

"I do not recommend working at American Apparel. They have no work advances. The pay is not good and you are not treated fairly. You can easily overwork yourself. The management do not think about the well being of their employees."

Quality Control Inspector (Former Employee) says

"I only know of the manufactory but it was the worse. It was a sweatshop, no windows, warehouse, no open doors and bad ventilation. Constantly got sick there due to the conditions and that what I was "let go for". Do yourself a favor, do not work there.The hoursEverything else"

Sewing Machine Operator (Former Employee) says

"Not a good place to work at. Poor management. Would not recommend. The work was very stressful and very little pay not enough for living conditions. Hardest part of the job was keeping up with the narcissistic management."

Store Manager (Former Employee) says

"I was blatantly discriminated against due to a lack of diversity within this American-made corporate company. This company produces goods within the US thus prices were high within the retail stores. However, due to the lack of quality in their products, I could no longer stand behind a company ripping people off and due to the overall conduct of the company, especially the owner. I gracefully decided to resign after 4 years of commitment for this company.Free giveaways of defective productsOvertime, little pay, and no vacation/sick leave"

Inventory Control Specialist (Former Employee) says

"Management took advantage of employees. No team work. They train you for a couple hours. Then they expect you not to make an error or mistake. Very stressful environment."

PICKER - SHIPPING & RECEIVING (Former Employee) says

"very bad place to work, low pay for a fast paced job they have you lifting heavy boxes of clothes you are not allowed to use the freight elevator its heavy work with low pay and their is no AC it gets very hot inside you are getting paid to sweat in the building the management is bad they dont do much on a busy day they would stand around telling us to hurry up but yet did nothing to help.good breaks, flexiblebad management, no leadership, bad pay, long hours, heavy work."

Inventory Control Clerk (Former Employee) says

"I hated the day. I didnt learn anything. Poor management. Work place looked like a prison. the hardest part of the job was having this job. The most enjoyable part of the job when I resigned!"

"Lead" Shipping Data entry (Former Employee) says

"i worked here for 3 plus years and never was giving an opportunity to advance there was so much favoritism it was pointless to try to work hard to get notice. if she didn't like you and she was dating the boss then your life was pretty much over. no regard to disabilities i was pregnant and they threatened to fire me if i didn't stay for inventory which was 12hr not including the fact that i was data entry which meat i had to stay even longer .... best example of a sweat shop.felt like high school but with a paycheckno raises no advancement break labor lwas"

Key Holder (Former Employee) says

"very unprofessional. management would judge customers based off of their looks. they followed people of color around the store and made fun of customers. such a bad environment"

Inventory Manager (Former Employee) says

"This was my first position with a retail company and it was an overall negative one. The pay was abysmal and the benefits were only available to those who consistently worked 30 hours or more."

Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) says

"American Apparel was a very good company. I would do so much there and had different positions there that I was in charge of. I would of never left the company if they had a different manager that wouldn't curse you out, scream at your face and talk about you in front of others cursing you out maybe I would of stayed. They needed a better accounting system and people in the accounting office and a lot more.Lunch was cut off when they wanted.Short brakes of 7 mins/ never wanted to be responsible for any injuries"


"The company is circling the drain. The employees are treated poorly and there is zero chance to move up which means there is low morale every day. Since there is no structure, everyone does as they please and no feedback is taken into consideration."

Sewing Machine Operator (Former Employee) says

"enjoyed working there when they were open. Learning to sew getting my production, and exceeding my goals. I think it would have been a great job if it still existed.good payhad to drive 14 miles."

Web Picker (Former Employee) says

"Contributed to the shipping, receiving, stocking, and reporting of inventory levels while following safety standards operated a computer and hand scanner hardest part is when we have lots of orders an they have to be shipped off the same day.Dicountextra hours with no pay"

Order Picker/Packer (Former Employee) says

"Horrible!!! I was being let off at 2:45 am instead of 6:30 as scheduled. The management needs better training.They curse at you. Its a lot of favoritism and harassment from men to women."

General Labor (Former Employee) says

"I did not enjoy my time spent at american apparel. I would work twelve hours with only a single lunch break."

Data Entry (Former Employee) says

"i was working 7 days and 12 hours, no days off, and caling sick was not option, or personal time.overtimebreaks"

Manager (Former Employee) says

"Unorganized and immoral. Everything about this comapny is wrong. No consideration for the well being of any employee. They will work you to the bone, take away your personal life, and you're lucky if your hardwork ever even gets acknowleged. Unfair and inconsistent pay rates. Horrible working conditions. The building is a dump. I have never felt so strongly against any other company I have ever worked for. While there I had to deal with sexual harrassment issues, human resource issues, cleanliness issues, etc.everything about working here is a con"

Markie Armitage says

"Their returns process is TERRIBLE! I returned some tank tops that were way too small almost a month ago now and I still have yet to get my money back. I first emailed 2 weeks ago and still haven’t received my refund. I keep being told that she emailed the warehouse to check on the return status and that she’ll get back to me but I still haven’t heard anything. I almost think she never did email the warehouse in the first place and is just lying. The customer service rep is Samantha Peterkin. NOT HAPPY!"

Hella Amoah says

"Returns process is a joke. It’s taken a week to get an email from boderforce. They don’t really reply to your emails Quality of clothing has dramatically declined I just want to return everything I bought and get my money back. I cannot give my money to a company like this. I don’t want to rant, just want to warn others. Spend your money else where."

Chloé Howell says

"UNACCEPTABLE, APPALLING, DISGUSTING! I’m so upset a phone bill that’s cost me £109 phone customer services and less than a quarter of a refund. Say no more."

J L says

"I ordered two velvet pencil skirts on clearance from American Apparel which were supposed to have been delivered on August 15. That's what the tracking info says, at least. Unfortunately I never received any package from them, even though it was marked as delivered. I emailed customer service and some bright, bright Einstein named Jeffrey Perez emailed me the tracking info and that was that. He didn't offer to help or investigate. Smart kid. NOT. Unfortunately I paid for this order with Paypal and escalated it to a claim, but even Paypal are siding with them and probably not going to give me my $53.08 back because it was marked as delivered, even though I never received it God, dealing with this company has been such a nightmare. All I want is my money back so I don't ever have to bother with them again."

Sune F says

"Long delivery. Sent me two pair of the wrong jeans, and then it took ages with back and forth between the global customer-service. It probably works fine in the US, but for global customers, it's a mess to figure out how to return parts of your shippings - the forms on their website are either not relevant or you have to write an e-mail to get the correct return-form. Furthermore you need to print and attach the specific form you need to your package again, and the whole process is just a mess and quite a downer. When there's loads of companies who have entered current ages, and have very simple solutions to returning (return-forms included in the shipping for example) this seems pretty old school. I partly got a refund, but the service, and also quality of clothes is not the same as under the old owners. The clothes just don't feel 100% the same after they've changed to production in China. Sad, as this used to be one of my favorite clothing stores. 2 stars, only because I still somehow like their clothes."

Thomas Wernberg says

"Making an electronic receipt from your stores (in Paris) is a good idea. But using the email address afterwards for spam mail is a bad! As a minimum, you should be asked the choice whether to receive commercial emails!!! ------ To days after I write above and 4 attempts to unsubscribe tyour mail spam, I still receive ads from you on my email. F.U. - I don't want your spam mail. I was never asked to receive your spam mail. You are now down to 1 star! This kind of marketing is simply not good enough.!!!!"

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