'Cautious expansion' for American Apparel in Britain

It faced a bleak future, but the US fashion retailer has bucked the trend after restructuring

American Apparel, the US clothing retailer known for its controversial advertisements and founder, is bucking the trend in the UK and has reported positive sales growth despite the shrinking UK consumer's purse.

The listed US retailer reported a 3 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the third quarter this year, and said sales in the UK and Europe "indicated a strong performance".

The company faced a bleak future earlier this year but has now restructured and has $20m from new investors to continue its turnaround.

Dov Charney, the notorious Canadian founder and chief executive of the LA-based company, has caused controversy for his overtly sexual behaviour and comments, and is even facing accusations of sexual harassment by former employees.

In April, the firm faced a debt crisis amid falling sales and was close to collapse, but was rescued by a $14.9m injection of capital from private investors led by the Canadian financier Michael Serruya and private equity investor Delavaco Capital. Mr Charney owns just under half the shares in the company.

John Luttrell, chief financial officer, said 2011 was much better. "We love the UK and the UK loves us."

Last week, the retailer posted results at Companies House for the UK for 2010 showing sales at just £7.3m, down from £10.5m the previous year and a profit of just £10,236.

But Mr Luttrell said that, despite the "modest decreases" in 2010, this decline had reversed in 2011 in the UK and sales were now positive. He said the UK still offered an opportunity to grow and that the business had stabilised.

American Apparel has 15 stores in the UK and says it is looking for new ones to "cautiously expand". It has 247 stores in 20 countries and is also focusing on expansion in China and Hong Kong.

The company stressed that its better than expected growth was across stores, its wholesale and online business. Overall, wholesale net sales increased by 10 per cent while total net sales increased by 5 per cent to $141m – up from $134m for the same period last year.

American Apparel's sales growth has bucked the general trend in the UK where just last week Mothercare and the young fashion retailer SuperGroup – owner of Superdry – issued profit warnings that highlighted the tough consumer climate.

Tesco posted its worst UK sales performance for more than two decades last week, while the consumer goods group Premier Foods issued a profit warning on Friday, sending shares down more than 30 per cent.

Premier, owner of brands including Mr Kipling and Hovis, is valued at £150m but has debt at almost six times this level, at more than £850m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders