American Apparel

  www.americanapparel.net
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American Apparel Reviews

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
258 Reviews

2.9
258 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Apparel Chairman, President, and CEO Dov Charney
Dov Charney
162 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Sales Associate/Backstock

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate/Backstock  in  Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate/Backstock in Schaumburg, IL

    Pros

    There 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.

    Cons

    You 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    4 dang years here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager On Duty  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager On Duty in New York, NY

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    An enjoyable retail job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Having 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great people to work with, easy to move up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    Retail 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 ManagementAdvice

    Help us be better sales associates by telling us when we did a good job, not just negative.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Came With The Good and the Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Visual Merchandiser  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Visual Merchandiser in New York, NY

    Pros

    Decent pay and somewhat easy to move up.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring people in high school for important roles.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    good opportunity - for the steadfast

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    Pros

    Retail 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.

    Cons

    For 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 ManagementAdvice

    I 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.

    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    learned a lot

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    able to travel to alot of places personal growth, benefits

    Cons

    during the holiday you will have to work long hours

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Visual Merchandising Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Visual Merchandising Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    Pros

    50% Discount, Seasonal Clothing Allowances, Young creative peers, ability to move up quickly

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More concrete managerial practices, more opportunities to discuss growth and company practices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Lots of fun, occasionally hectic.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Visual Merchandiser  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Visual Merchandiser in New York, NY

    Pros

    Free clothes, and seasonal clothing allowance.

    Cons

    Lack of organization. Poorly experienced workers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Amazing!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Key Holder  in  Hollywood, CA
    Current Employee - Key Holder in Hollywood, CA

    Pros

    -Discount (50%)
    -Working with your peers
    -Good opportunity to move up in the company

    Cons

    -Peoples ego's
    -Wearing AA from head to toe

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Learn to train sales associates in all aspects including management,Stock & customer service.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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