Amazon Should Buy American Apparel Because Trump

Bezos could even make Dov Charney his emissary to the Trump White House.
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By William Murphy (Flickr: American Apparel) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By William Murphy (Flickr: American Apparel) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Because nothing makes sense anymore, a key business consideration these days are the 140-character rantings of an angry, unstable old man who happens to the president-elect of the United States of America. In this uncertain environment, it behooves automakers and everyone else to carefully consider whether their business decisions might inspire ungrammatical invective or equally ungrammatical but presumably preferable praise. One surefire way to ensure the former is to be on the president-elect’s enemies list. One surefire way to ensure the latter is to do as he says and not as he does, and decide to keep making things or hiring people within the borders of Trumperica.

Jeff Bezos is definitely on Trump’s enemies, as are the two things he owns, Amazon.com and The Washington Post. And since President Trump hasn’t been terribly shy about threatening to use the power of his future office to get even, finding a way onto his good side might be economically advisable for Bezos, and we don’t think a “most open mind” and best wishes are gonna do it.

There is, potentially, another way: He can save American Apparel. And by that, Breakingviews means he can buy it.

Amazon.com, the e-commerce giant he runs, is considering a bid for the bankrupt American Apparel, according to a Reuters exclusive, just as Macy’s and other department stores are losing sales and cutting staff. A deal could be a handy way to show a president-elect suspicious of Silicon Valley that thousands of working-class jobs are being saved.

Buying American Apparel could help make Mr. Bezos a savior of a dying industry….. A deal would not cost much, either: American Apparel currently has an offer from Gildan Activewear for just $66 million. And Amazon’s avowed and proved lack of interest in short-term profit means it should have no problem keeping the retailer’s jobs stateside.

Brandishing some “Made in the U.S.A.” credibility would be a smart bet by Mr. Bezos.

There’s more for the Donald to love about AA than just those labels he can’t put on his own ties. It’s 4,500 more jobs he can claim to have saved from a Mexican vacation. It was founded by a man very much after his own heart. And like the presidential owner of the Miss Universe pageant, it is a purveyor of soft-core pornography. All it needs to do is add some gilding to the dressing rooms and maybe put a few of Ivanka’s things in the window and Bezos might be looking at a term as Secretary of Drone Operations.

American Apparel Could Bolster Amazon’s Standing With Trump [DealBook]

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