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Despite the fact that American Apparel has "posted some of the strongest sales gains among major retail chains in recent months," the LAT reports today that the T-shirt and basics purveyor laid off several hundred employees companywide.
The paper cites the layoffs as a "result of a reduction in the company's expansion plans and a recent $15-million upgrade to its machinery and equipment that boosted worker productivity." AA spokesperson Elliot Sloane told the paper: "As a result, if employee productivity is up, the need for the same numbers of employees decreases."
Ryan Holiday, also a spokesperson for the company, responded to Racked today with the following:
"...unfortunately the LA Times made it sounds like we made some insensitive pragmatic decision to cut fat. Nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously we still pay the highest wages in the industry and aren't outsourcing. A technology shift and the reality of the financial markets worldwide made us ask some people to sit on the sidelines for the near future. There will likely be rehiring down the road and this was not a flippant or easy decision."
Unfortunately, the sidelines do not pay.
· American Apparel lays off hundreds of workers [LAT]