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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Retail Counter Intuitive

By Keith R. Schmitz

American Apparel is taking their grunge appeal clothing line to China.

What's the big deal?

Wal-Mart and other retailers for years now have been selling us cheap Chinese goods. Though they are promising us low prices it is a circular scam with millions of American losing high paying jobs to China and elsewhere having to shop at places like Wal-Mart because our working folks are making minimum wage if they are lucky to get a job.

American Apparel is swimming against the tide, importing their made in LA clothing to the Chinese.
Company CEO Dov Charney said the company would pay sales clerks in the Chinese stores hourly wages exceeding the U.S. minimum of $5.85, which in some parts of China is more than a worker makes in a day.
Here's the interesting part. AA will be paying their Chinese clerks above minimum US wages. Bear in mind what the average Chinese gets paid. My wife and I visited a hutung in Beijing and met a couple who were making $100 a month. Their college educated daughter who works in IT gets $300 a month.

We hired a driver for the full day who had a late model Audi and charged us $45 a day.

American Apparel was looking to open in time for the Olympics, but dealing with the 13 layers of bureaucracy has put a crimp in their plans.

The expansion into China, first reported by trade publications Women's Wear Daily and DNR, could lead to the opening of five stores there by year's end, Charney said. The first three shops will open this spring, he said.

"Once we see the momentum in one store -- it's going to be fluid -- we'll open another," he said. "We think, over time, there's going to be a class of metropolitan adults who will appreciate exactly what we do."

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