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American Apparel Bets On-Demand Delivery Will Boost Business

Photo: screenshot of Postmates’ app

American Apparel, the Made-in-the-U.S.A. brand that’s had more downs than ups in recent years, is hoping the need-it-now generation can help turn its fortunes around.

The company has paired with Postmates, the on-demand logistics provider, to deliver basics to U.S. customers within the hour in 79 stores spanning 31 metropolitan areas around the country. The roll-out follows a “positive” pilot period in New York and San Francisco.

Impatient shoppers in those markets will now be able to order more than 50 of American Apparel’s core items for men and women, including hoodies, T-shirts and socks, and get the goods within 60 minutes, instead of the traditional four to five days it takes through standard shipping methods.

Thoryn Stephens, the company’s chief digital officer, said in a statement Monday that the plan is to integrate the experience with radio-frequency identification (RFID) for real-time inventory availability.

Participating American Apparel locations will have access to the app, Postmates Order, via an Android tablet, displayed directly on a terminal in the store. This will allow the retail team to retrieve and package the order while the Postmates driver is on his or her way to pick it up.

Delivery fees, according to TechCrunch, will be $1.99 at launch but could potentially increase over the coming weeks. It’s the first time that Postmates has partnered with an apparel brand.

“The combination of American Apparel’s real-time, local inventory paired with Postmates’ superior delivery technology and national footprint is changing the way customers can access their favorite brands,” Holger Luedorf, Postmates’ senior vice president of business, said. “One- or two-day shipping is no longer an option—we are creating entirely new customer expectations.”

According to the partners, the guaranteed one-hour delivery time will save up to 20 minutes per order and result in higher order accuracy. The integration is also set up to allow Postmates to invoice American Apparel instead of the driver’s credit card at pick-up, which will result in further savings of card fees and time.