American Apparel Inc. on Thursday announced strong same-store sales increases, a contrast to news of dismal fourth-quarter retail sales across the country.
Los Angeles-based American Apparel’s 2008 fourth-quarter same-store sales increased 10 percent from the same period a year ago. Total retail sales for the chain increased 53 percent to $98 million. Same-store sales for all of 2008 were up 22 percent compared with the previous year.
For the holiday shopping month of December 2008, American Apparel’s same-stores sales increased 3 percent compared with December 2007.
Many other retailers posted disappointing results for December. Gap Inc. reported a 14 percent drop in same-store sales, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said its stores saw a 24 percent decline.
American Apparel’s announcement comes on heels of last month’s news that the company renegotiated nearly $120 million in debt on tougher terms. The company was able to extend the maturity of a $51 million loan three months to April but has to make amortization payments of $16 million in March plus three other payments of $5 million each spread out over the year. It must get additional approvals from lenders.
The company opened 14 new stores in December, including one on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, to close the year with 260 retail stores.
American Apparel shares were up 51 cents, or 22.6 percent, to $2.77, in late afternoon trading on the American Stock Exchange.