New American Apparel Online Store Tests Importance of Made in U.S.
Last week, Montreal-based Gildan Activewear announced that American Apparel clothing items would still sell through its former e-commerce site starting Aug. 14. It looks like Gildan couldn't wait for the Aug. 14 debut, because the site is officially up and running.
The site provides visitors with a few options. Shoppers can check out the archives, which feature the Disco pant and striped thigh-high socks. Or, they can scope out the famed basics, like baseball tees, crewnecks and hoodies.
Not everything is the same as the pre-Gildan American Apparel era, however. Because the company has moved some of the manufacturing abroad, not everything is made in the U.S.
Instead, the new American Apparel features a made in the U.S. capsule collection featuring eight items manufactured in the states. But here's the kicker: Shoppers can also choose the nearly identical "globally made" counterpart that will run for a less expensive price point. For example, a U.S.-made hoodie costs buyers $48, while the globally made hoodie costs $38.
This will be an interesting experiment to see how much weight prospective customers actually place on made-in-the-U.S. garments. Over the past few years, there has been more demand for U.S. manufacturing, but let's see if customers are willing to pay a premium for these products. It's safe to say Gildan will be paying very close attention to who buys what.