Financially troubled, hipster basics brand American Apparel will be taking a fresh approach to retail this year, aiming to carry new accessory lines in store for the Spring 2012 season, according to a report by WWD.
In a move to drive sales and diversify its stock, Dov Charney and chief business development officer Marty Staff will head to the Las Vegas trade shows at the end of the month, scouting out accessory lines to carry in its 254 stores. Vendors and and press hoping to encounter a sighting of the two can hang around the jam packed aisles of both the MAGIC and Project shows to potentially catch a glimpse.
While not a total 180 from its current retail model (American Apparel already sells Bass penny loafers and Casio watches), the hipster brand is looking to up its accessories revenues 20 percent. American Apparel is also in talks with a few as-yet unnamed sneaker brands regarding potential collaborations.
Diversifying the racks is just the beginning. Earlier this month, the retailer announced a store partnership with Ebay. The new Ebay shop, which is anticipated to generate several millions of dollars in sales in the first month alone, was conceived as a way to tap into the eBay users who search for American Apparel products on the popular reselling site, but do not buy directly from AmericanApparel.net. American Apparel's new Ebay shop is thought to be part of a greater initiative within Ebay to integrate dedicated brand stores, all of which will pay Ebay a commission on sales.
Just this past April, American Apparel was scrambling for cash after the 2010 fiscal year brought forth $86 million in losses. Rumors are still swirling that the company is considering an outright buyer, which would likely oust CEO Dov Charney, although with the incorporation of new ventures and tactics meant to drive revenue becoming more and more frequent, we find that end to be more and more unlikely.
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