American Apparel Tries Crowdsourcing To Find Expensive Products People Will Buy

Image courtesy of TheGlassPeople

Three months after going private and emerging from a contentious fight over its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, American Apparel is looking to put the pieces back together, and it’s starting with a crowdsourcing campaign to solicit ideas for products made in the U.S. 

American Apparel recently launched a “Made In” campaign seeking vendors proposals for products — such as shoes and perfume — that would be made in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports.

While it’s admirable that American Apparel is looking for new ideas to attract customers, the company suggests that submitted product ideas should retail for about $100. The higher price point isn’t exactly unusual for the retailer, but those costs were part of the reason the company faced issues to begin with.

Vendors are being asked to propose ideas in a 90-second video that illustrate how the product will “resonate with the spirit and DNA of American Apparel” by June 17.

American Apparel says there is no guarantee that the ideas will ever hit the stores’ racks. The only promise is that the company will “contact the elected vendors to discuss a future business relationship.”

This isn’t the first time the retailer has tried to revamp its offerings to attract customers. Last year, before the company filed for bankruptcy protection, it announced it would launch a new merchandise line focused on basic clothing items.

“Historically, the fall season has not been a major focus for the company,” Schneider said at the time. “The new styles are designed to increase revenue as we continue to evolve our product offering during this important selling season.”

The crowdsourcing campaign comes a month after American Apparel slashed hundreds of jobs in its Southern California home, and announced it may make some clothing outside of Los Angeles as part of an overall redesign of the production process.

In a letter to employees, Chief Executive Paula Schneider floated the idea that manufacturing some trickier pieces like jeans and other denim clothing might be outsourced to a third-party company, although those items “will still be American-made.”

American Apparel turns to crowdsourcing for new U.S.-made products [The Los Angeles Times]

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