American Apparel may close some NYC stores

August 19, 2010 09:30AM

American Apparel at 121 Spring Street in Soho

American Apparel, the colorful, trendy retailer with 20 Manhattan and Brooklyn stores, may be forced to close or sublease as many as one-third of those locations as the chain’s financial situation grows more dire. The California-based company, known for its rail-thin models clad in leggings and T-shirts, said Tuesday that it has more than $120 million in debt and may not have enough cash to last until the end of the year. While an American Apparel spokesperson told Crain’s that the company, which opened 13 New York City stores over the past five years, does not have current plans to close any of its Big Apple outposts, retail brokers were skeptical. “They did their big push in ’06, ’07 and ’08, when rents were highest,” said Ariel Shuster of Robert K. Futterman & Associates. “Their target audience was wider than most, so they went to these places where no other apparel tenant will go, like the Lower East Side.” American Apparel stores average around 3,000 square feet in the city, with some as large as 6,000 square feet, brokers said. [Crain’s]