Wholesale, Online Business Up At American Apparel

Online Sales Soared 12%

American ApparelDriven by a rise in wholesale and online business, Top 40 supplier American Apparel (asi/35297) increased sales 1% in October to $59.5 million. The apparel company reported that business in its wholesale channel – which includes sales in the ad specialty industry – climbed 8% last month when compared to October of the prior year. While net sales in American Apparel's online business channel soared 12%, the positive momentum was tempered by a 3% decline in comparable store sales in the company's retail business.

"Although disappointed with the negative comparable performance of our retail stores in October, we are encouraged by the strength in our online and wholesale businesses," Dov Charney, American Apparel's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

For 2013 as a whole, American Apparel's wholesale business has increased 6% year-to-date, the supplier reported. Meanwhile, online sales have shot up 19% and retail channel sales have risen 3%. While Charney said a "weaker consumer spending environment" has hurt traffic at retail stores, he emphasized that he and his team are working hard to produce a strong end to 2013.

"As October came to a close, we began to feel some encouraging incremental sales momentum in some markets," he says. "We are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief that we are overcoming some of the challenges we were experiencing at our new distribution center and we are pleased that our stores and customers are now being shipped product in a timely fashion."

American Apparel ranks as the 14th-largest supplier in the industry, after reporting 2012 North American ad specialty sales of $96.8 million, an increase of 7.3% over the previous year.