American Apparel

  www.americanapparel.net
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American Apparel Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 244 reviews

30% Approve of the CEO

American Apparel Chairman, President, and CEO Dov Charney

Dov Charney

(152 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They offer a 50% discount, but the items are so expensive that I never buy anything(in 46 reviews)

  • Free clothes/50% off (new hire outfit, allowance, random giveaways)(in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • Extremely poor judgement on the part of upper management(in 15 reviews)

  • High turnover rate at all levels of company(in 7 reviews)

244 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Tarnished reputation but positive work experience.

    Key Holder (Former Employee) Miami, FL

    ProsVery positive work environment for a young person out of college, the company values young people and give them opportunities for leadership and advancement. It was a good place to gain a confidence boost before transitioning into a more serious workplace.

    ConsSimply the reputation of the company caused individuals to make associations that its employees were also sexually driven, vain, and vulgar. It was unfortunate because the truth is that they do good work and give many manufacturing jobs to many needy individuals in Southern California.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRebrand the company now that Dov is gone. Aim for a more wholesome all-American image.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Ran by children

    Key Holder (Current Employee)

    ProsI love the people I work with. My district managers were helpful and I learned a lot about retail. Hours were very flexible and it was a good job to have while still in college.

    ConsThe company is run by 18 year olds, basically. Things are rather in disarray and no one seems to have a business mindset (I have a BSBA). Many of my superiors are unprofessional. Payroll is a big issue too, the company doesn't appreciate it's hard working employees with raises and the salary job is just another way to work those great employees to death.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire people with degrees in business.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Sales Associate/Backstock

    Sales Associate/Backstock (Former Employee) Schaumburg, IL

    ProsThere is a great sense of camaraderie during work. I actually ended up making some of my best friends at that job. I worked at the Schaumburg location so there really wasn't a whole lot of business flowing through due to the location at the mall, so there was plenty of downtime to get merchandizing and cleaning done.

    ConsYou have to wear 100% American Apparel, which is hard on your ever so small paycheck because they pay minimum wage. It was a great high school/beginning of college gig. Because the company doesn't have rules about employees fraternizing with each other this can sometimes cause drama amongst the co-workers. When DOV was the CEO the corporate ladder and how demands and orders came down were sometimes unorganized and frustrating. Often they would send "models" from LA (not properly trained, college grads) to come "fix" the store if the store was having issues with making their goals. These "models" although nice, really didn't know how to properly manage or educate people. Hopefully with the new CEO these issues are irrelevant now. If you get a job here, just know it'll be a great fun experience, but most people don't usually stay longer than a year or two. Because people don't stay long it is obvious that they promote unprepared and ill equipped early 20 year old sales associates to manager positions before they're ready and this causes the store to have issues with goals etc.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    4 dang years here!

    Manager On Duty (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe discount is amazing, it's really easy to move up, and overall it's incredibly laid back. I've been an employee for four years, and have had few complaints until moving up to MOD.

    ConsAsset Protection is a joke, employees don't get disciplined, and I definitely don't get paid enough.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    An enjoyable retail job

    Sales Associate (Current Employee)

    ProsThe environment is great. I enjoy the people I work with and for the most part there is fair treatment.

    ConsHaving a 18 year old manager can become frustrating because they dont understand how to be a professional. There's a lot of favoritism. My manager can be late 3 days in a row or makes a huge mistake while closing and no one says anything to him. He has been an hour late several times in one week and then one sale associate was under 10 minutes late two days in a row and she received a "final warning".

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't let managers get away with everything. Its not fair and it makes it hard for the staff to respect their manager.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great people to work with, easy to move up

    Sales Associate (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsI was able to move up to a Keyholder by doing by job well, not necessarily going way above and beyond. Usually a good crew to work with. Fun to style customers. Great discount.

    ConsRetail can be frustrating, can't make more than $14 an hour. You end up spending a lot of your money on the clothes because you're around them all the time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHelp us be better sales associates by telling us when we did a good job, not just negative.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Came With The Good and the Bad

    Visual Merchandiser (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsDecent pay and somewhat easy to move up.

    ConsCompany is unorganized and doesn't commit to many promises.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop hiring people in high school for important roles.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    learned a lot

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosable to travel to alot of places personal growth, benefits

    Consduring the holiday you will have to work long hours

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great company to start off a fashion career if you don't mind competitive workplace and semi-low pay

    Visual Merchandising Manager (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    Pros50% Discount, Seasonal Clothing Allowances, Young creative peers, ability to move up quickly

    ConsHorrid work-life balance, strange environment at times especially with random employees conducting audits and exercising unecessarey superiority(store-level)

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore concrete managerial practices, more opportunities to discuss growth and company practices.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    good opportunity - for the steadfast

    Assistant Manager (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsRetail rarely offers really good opportunities, but American Apparel does pretty well. Good pay after the sale associate stage ($9.00/hr, sales commission is very hard to earn, 7% of whatever you sell in excess of your sales goals, which maybe realistic or not). As a keyholder, you earn $10 and as an (new) assistant manager $11, but you can probably go higher. You can sign up for medical coverage depending on your situation and HQ tends to hire from the inside, for models, visual merchandisers, designers, ect. Its not easy and you have to be persistent, draw attention to your talent, and talk to the right people. Also protocol and policy is not written in stone or super detailed like in many corporate environments which is a blessing and a curse, you can make real decisions instead of reading from a cue card, but its extremely frustrating too, as there often is conflicting or vague information.
    Also its a great place to work on the production side of clothing, which I know less about. There are tours of the factory at HQ, where I also worked. There is a medical clinic, insurance, comped lunches at cafeteria and fair pay, somewhere like $14 - $16/hr, i think.

    ConsFor one, almost the entire company is made up of people in their 20's and early 30's... think about it. If you're female, depending on where you work, you might be pressured to wear revealing clothing, and for whatever reason, often older men assume working there is akin to playboy or something (and will harass you). You may receive pressure to work overtime (instead of offering overtime), like "work 12 plus hours/beat your sales goals before you leave today or don't work here" kind of pressure. I had to work overtime EVERY single day at one location. Recently there has been intense pressure from above (HQ) to turn up the sales, so workers are taken advantage of and pushed much harder with no compensation , motivation, or appreciation.
    Also the rumors are true, if you take a job at HQ, watch out. Sexual harassment really is a problem and it gets absolutely crazy. Think carefully about it, it may not be worth it. There is an extremely high turnover rate at that level due to harassment, disorganization, and no work/live balance. You will live/breathe AA, work night and day, pull all-nighters a few times a week even... and no one will be impressed (many are doing the same). My advice: if you must, get the experience (it is easier to get in the door here than elsewhere) and stay one year. Then get that same job somewhere else, you paid your dues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI was an assistant manager and I didn't relish this part of the job: "Recently there has been intense pressure from above (HQ) to turn up the sales, so workers are taken advantage of and pushed much harder with no compensation, motivation, or appreciation." Must offer carrot as well as stick, there were many really great employees who will/did burn out and leave before being promoted oreven thanked.

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