Alstyle Apparel is all about style. The company markets clothing under several labels, including AAA Alstyle Apparel & Activewear, Gaziani, Diamond Star, Murina, Tennessee River, and Hyland Headware, as well as private labels. The company offers more than 50 unique items, including fleece products, hats, pants, shorts, and T-shirts, made in a variety of sizes and colors. Alstyle Apparel operates several manufacturing facilities in Mexico, and its products are distributed from nine centers in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Alstyle customers are primarily based in the US and include mass marketers, screen printers, and embellishers. The company is a subsidiary of business forms maker Ennis.
Alstyle Apparel leads Ennis' apparel business segment. The business segment's operations consist of marketing and making activewear. About 98% of sales are generated from t-shirts. (With such a sales mix, cotton accounts for about 40% of Alstyle's product cost.)
In addition to running three cut/sew facilities in Mexico, the company sometimes outsources production to businesses in El Salvador. Alstyle closed its manufacturing facility in California in 2011. Sales are primarily driven through 20 sales representatives, organized by territories in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Alstyle Apparel does business primarily in North America. Approximately 92% of its sales are domestic.
Alstyle accounts for approximately 30% of its parent's operating profits on sales that generate from 45% to 50% of Ennis' top line. In fiscal 2012 (ends February) apparel sales slipped more than 10% from 2011 after having posted an 18% uptick in year-over-year sales the previous year. The decline in 2012 sales contributed to more than a 50% drop in Alstyle's earnings from 2011, taking down Ennis' performance.
Results in 2012 reflect an uncertain economy coupled with slow retail and consumer spending. Several retailers, distributors, and screen printers also chose to cut back on inventories. Soaring cotton prices further pressured Alstyle as it struggled to maintain manufacturing capacity and market share by following competitors in offering promotional pricing to spur business.
Nonetheless, the company has reason to anticipate an improved future. Alstyle's strategic efforts to strengthen its customer base resulted in roughly a 10% increase in unit sales in 2012 to new and established accounts as it managed to increase the average unit selling price by more than 5%.