American Apparel

www.americanapparel.net

American Apparel Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
338 Reviews
2.8
338 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They offer a 50% discount, but the items are so expensive that I never buy anything (in 54 reviews)

  • Regularly bribed with free clothes to work unpaid overtime (in 37 reviews)


Cons
  • There is an extremely high turnover rate at that level due to harassment, disorganization, and no work/live balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Upper management undermines your position and staff tend to not listen to you (in 18 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    American Pie

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

    I have been working at American Apparel full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Promotions are commonplace, particularly to Key Holder positions.

    The job is relatively easy and doesn't require much skill. It's mostly procedural. Once you have developed a method for executing procedures accurately, you can pretty much coast.

    Generous discount (50%), regular free clothing promotions and a seasonal allowance will keep you from having to spend loads of money on a wardrobe.

    Cons

    Poor communication between upper management and retail level employees. There is even poor communication between corporate management and district management at times.

    A superficial attitude that discriminates against employees who are not considered to be "on brand,' which translates to "attractive enough." Even with Dov Charney no longer a part of the company this has yet to change on the retail level.

    Although promotions are easily given (my first promotion came immediately after my probationary period ended) it is usually based on personal relationships rather than a legitimate reflection of an employees work ethic and ability. A person who is considered attractive and personable will be promoted regardless of whether or not they are a good fit for the position.

    The pay is mediocre. Merit raises are incredibly difficult to obtain and will not be offered unless you mention it. Most raises are only given to those who are willing to accept a new position that will involve fare more responsibility than they are willing to adequately compensate for. The company loves to mention how it's employees are paid well but that only applies to the factory workers in LA who make between $13 to $15 an hour. In New York everyone starts at $9 and incremental raises vary between 50 cents and a dollar (dollar raises only come with promotions).

    The turnover rate is very high. In my department it is required that people understand procedures and learn them otherwise the efficiency of their work will be limited. Having to constantly train new hires interferes with daily operations and keeps things from running smoothly.

    The job is not rewarding in any way. Even if you do your job well you typically won't hear about it or reap the benefits of it. If you make a mistake, small or large, management will let you know repeatedly before the day is done and demand that you not make them again, lest disciplinary action be taken.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your staff as well as you were trained for your position. Communicate more effectively with the people who are responsible for carrying out the tasks that reflect upon your management skills. Stop hiring inexperienced high school graduates for management positions simply because they photograph well. Hire adults who are capable of carrying out the tasks necessary to run a successful operation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    fun company / sad pay

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

    I worked at American Apparel

    Pros

    Out of everything I got out of my short time as Head of Store what I value most are the friends made. Something about the type of people that AA attracts, they're all for the most part thoughtful, interesting, and (admittedly) beautiful folks and some of my closest friends I have since moving to NYC. The job as Store Manager was challenging but did come with a substantial amount of challenging and support from upper management.

    Cons

    Pay was impossible for me to support myself on and a "raise" is considered to be a 50 cent increase in hourly rate...
    I made something like $3 more (hourly) than the sales associate staff and my opportunity for bonus was near impossible to reach with goals set well above what was reasonable to expect.

    Nazi's about timecards. You have to be on time for this company and observe meal break guidelines.

    Nazi's about dress code. Head - to - Toe dress code is rigidly enforced.

    Hopefully with Charney out of the CEO seat we'll see some changes in the business strategy because there were many questionable practices. Including trying to sell decade old product at full price and they're laughable attempts at sales that were just way to confusing for customers and staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reconsider your compensation strategy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Lackluster job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Apparel

    Pros

    Your coworkers are usually cool.

    Cons

    Terrible dumb rules. Weird culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire 15 year olds to manage people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Life at AA

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

    I worked at American Apparel part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Management is very nice and encouraging and everyone works together to meet the store's daily goals. You receive 50% their clothes and 30% non-brand American Apparel clothing such as accessories and skin care items. The store isn't difficult to upkeep so you're spending the majority of your shift assisting customers. For the interview, know things about the company (Sweatshop free, healthcare to employees, ect.)

    Cons

    No commission, small amount of hours (average 10 a week), If it is a slow business day, management will switch around their employees to find them something to do. For example, I had to work back stock (a completely different job that I wasn't hired for) where I hung up the clothes, put security tags on them, steamed them and then bring them out on the floor to hang them up on their desired racks. So if you're okay with wearing multiple hats on the job, then apply there. Having to wear all American Apparel, their shoes are extremely uncomfortable and everything else there is ridiculously expensive ($28 for a teeshirt? c'mon)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire less people so that your employees are able to work more during the week.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great for young high school students...

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

    I worked at American Apparel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    50% employee discount, given clothing allowance when you first start

    Cons

    Theft, district management is unreasonable, employee attitudes suck, HORRIBLE pay for management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care for your employees and they will want to sell your cheap clothing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Inventory manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inventory Manager
    Former Employee - Inventory Manager

    I worked at American Apparel

    Pros

    This is a fun work environment where young people can get a good start.

    Cons

    Young management
    Many upper level problems

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enact a more professional upper management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Very open and young.

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

    I have been working at American Apparel full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Promotions based on capability not on experience or tenure.
    Safe and fun work environment.
    Everyone is young.

    Cons

    Everyone is young.
    A lot of pressure from district and corporate.
    Obvious favoritism.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less favoritism. More relaxation. Less stress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Steady work, but unprofessional environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Stock Associate in Miami, FL

    I have been working at American Apparel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You're more than likely get as many hours as you can get every week, and they will almost always work around your schedule. It's fairly difficult to get fired. They have a knack for hiring people that are a pleasure to be around. With Dov Charney officially gone, it seems that the company may improve with competent executives in place. The employee discount is excellent, and if certain sales goals are met, staff are rewarded with free merchandise and sometimes pay bonuses.

    Cons

    It's nearly impossible to get a raise based on merit. A little known company policy is one where each employee is reviewed every six months and is eligible for a pay raise, this is never communicated by management. There is no incentive to stick around, and you'll feel like this is a place for transient workers, and not really a place to grow in. Four years of work and I've received a dollar raise for a promotion, and 25 cents for a merit raise (three years later). Communication is bad, although some managers do try their best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers love to hide behind emails, and try not to communicate issues in a face to face manner. There needs to be a better system of communication in place for more efficient work. There needs to be incentive for employees to want to stick around (competitive wages, opportunities for promotions, etc.). Management at the store level is usually good, and these problems are usually the fault of middle management (district). Store managers try to make the best of difficult circumstances.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Is anyone running this company?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Key Holder
    Former Employee - Key Holder

    I worked at American Apparel full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Discount
    Discount
    Discount
    Discount
    Discount

    (I typed 5 times only because i must enter at least 5 words for pros.)

    Cons

    Working there is like working with some middle school kids. Everyone think they are somebody but they are not.

    Discount is good, but you have to wear their items from head to toes. I am not spending $60 on an ugly pair grandmother shoes.

    Theft happens every day if not every hour. I am not getting paid for being a police.

    Too many items in the store made the store look trash and dirty.

    Give employees past fashion clothes which they had in their factor for over 10 years.

    Pay is joke.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Apparel

    Pros

    The company gives the opportunity for young adults to succeed in their company

    Cons

    A lot of stress

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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