Cue the Semisonic. American Apparel has closed its Manhattan stores.
“It’s the end of an era,” said the friend of a staffer lingering at the Soho store. Along with others, the store at 429 Broadway closed for good this afternoon after running out of deeply discounted merch.
An employee of five years, who asked that we identify her only as Nasty, said she had been keeping a list of things customers said during the store’s final days. “We made a tally every time people said, ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry for your loss!’ and ‘What are you going to do now?'”
The chain’s Greenwich Village store, at 704 Broadway, also locked up around 3pm today. Calls to other Manhattan locations went unanswered. A call to the Park Slope location, however, revealed that it was still up and running, but would close for good by 8pm today. (Leave it to Park Slope not to take the hipster bait.) An employee there said they still had men’s and women’s t-shirts, long-sleeves, skirts, and size-small jeans. Everything is 90 percent off, and not a thing in the store is more than $8, she said.
Discounts were at 80 percent last week when I stopped into the Penn Station-area store, now shuttered. Even the shelving, furniture and hangers were for sale.
Nasty described the closure of the Soho store as “bittersweet.” She told us American American was a “fun place to work” and “definitely the best retail job to get.”
The nationwide closures came after Canadian company Gildan Activewear bought the notorious brand’s assets out of bankruptcy for $88 million and opted to shutter all stores. According to the New York Post, American Apparel-branded clothes are now being made in Central America, though Gildan has said it will explore the possibility of doing some manufacturing in the United States. Either way, the brand will no longer be based in Los Angeles, where over 2,000 workers were laid off. Adding insult to injury, there’s a possibility American Apparel will now be sold in stores like– gasp– Kmart.
Here’s what New Yorkers had to say about AA’s last days.
RIP American Apparel pic.twitter.com/TKYMXeGP1L
— kif leswing (@kifleswing) April 26, 2017
Yeah this is the end of an era. If UO and American Apparel aren’t fire anymore,then I guess hipsters are gonna go extinct
— VAN GOGH’S EAR (@iamramsayrose) April 26, 2017
our kids are gonna read about American Apparel going out of business in their history textbooks
— allin (@alIingator) April 23, 2017
— Patrick Stanwood (@patrickstanwood) April 26, 2017
everyone needs to go to American apparel this week. pic.twitter.com/HoY7YL0d4B
— Annie Bercy (@LeMinor_) April 24, 2017
— Alexander (@KidAndTheCity) April 23, 2017
Additional recording by Sam Patwell.