American Apparel on Telegraph Avenue to close in April

Priyanka Karthikeyan/Staff

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The American Apparel on Telegraph Avenue will be closing on or about April 30.

According to Christian Cruze, the assistant manager of the Telegraph Avenue location, the store has about 20 employees, a few of which are UC Berkeley students. All 110 American Apparel retail stores in the United States will be closing about April after being acquired by Gildan Activewear, Inc., a Canadian clothing manufacturer, as reported by the LA Times.

The Telegraph Avenue store, which is located directly across the street from Sproul Plaza, has been a popular shopping destination for students. Campus first year Michael Kim walked into the store Wednesday during the storewide 40-percent-off sale and said he comes into the store about once a month. He added, however, that he felt indifferent toward the store closing.

“I come in, sometimes I see something I like, sometimes I don’t,” Kim said. “Today was, like, my second time buying something.”

The Los Angeles-based clothing company was acquired by Gildan, a wholesale t-shirt and underwear company, for $88 million during a bankruptcy auction on Jan. 10. Gildan will pay an additional $15 million for the company’s inventory and purchase orders.

According to an email from Gildan spokesperson Garry Bell, Gildan’s purchase only included the brand and its intellectual property, as well as some manufacturing equipment. Because American Apparel’s retail business model does not fall in line with its new owners, Gildan never planned to buy to the stores.

Bell said in the email that all of the plans regarding the acquisition have not been finalized.

“While we make (choices on manufacturing, distribution and how we will bring this brand to consumers) over the coming weeks we have agreed to a 100 day license to allow the current management, who are overseeing the bankruptcy process, to run the stores and the e-commerce site while we complete our plans,” Bell said in the email.

American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — in which a debtor proposes a plan of reorganization to keep a business afloat — in October 2015. But after continuing debts in 2016, the second bankruptcy filing was aimed at auctioning off the company.

In addition to the company’s fiscal problems, American Apparel’s founder and former CEO Dov Charney has been sued several times for sexual assault. He was fired in 2014 by the company’s board after allegations of misconduct, which he denies.

In 2009, American Apparel fired about 1,800 immigrant manufacturing workers, which amounted to nearly one-third of all of the company’s workers, after a federal investigation found the workers’ identity documents on file questionable.

American Apparel could not be reached for comment on the closures or the allegations.

Pressly Pratt is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @presslypratt.