Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 52


Supplier

GILDAN

Controlling Quality

By owning most steps of the manufacturing process, Gildan ensures the consistency
retailers and customers want in the production and supply of quality T-shirts. BY TIM O'CONNOR
owned company with Glenn Chamandy, who is one
of the founders and still CEO of the company.

Growing Market

To ensure a continuous level of quality,
the company says almost 100 percent of its
value comes from a Gildan-owned facility.

Rob Packard,
vice president of
marketing, Gildan's
Branded Apparel
division
www.gildanonline.com
Montreal

52

O

ffice culture has become much more relaxed over the last decade, at least when it
comes to dress codes. T-shirts and jeans
are now regularly sighted among cubicles
and every day may as well be casual Friday for many
companies. Some may lament the loss of formality,
but the cultural shift is good business for clothing
maker Gildan. The company's high-quality T-shirts
are now a part of many people's daily lives as consumer amass a collection of Gildan-made clothing
from events. "Everybody now understands that
Gildan is a T-shirt leader," Vice President of Marketing for Gildan's Branded Apparel division Rob
Packard says.
Gildan's path to becoming one of the largest
clothing apparel companies in the world began in
1984. The Chamandy family operated a children's
clothing business in Montreal when they decided
to start producing their own textiles to lower cost.
By the early 1990s, the company entered the screenprint market by manufacturing plain T-shirts that
could be printed on. Today, Gildan is a publicly

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

March/April 2016

T-shirts remain Gildan's primary product. "We still
execute and make a better-value T-shirt," Packard
says. "We have higher quality at a great price for a
better value equation than the competition." In addition to its shirts, Gildan is now one of the leading
men's underwear companies. When including all the
brands under the Gildan umbrella, the company is
also a leading sock manufacturer and it continues to
grow its activewear business.
Gildan has an merchandising and product development group that watches shifts in the clothing
industry and helps steer the direction of new products. The company also relies on its business partners
to help it innovate. Gildan manufactures items for
several global brands and is keyed into developing
trends in the market. "We are evolving with the market and growing with the market," Packard explains.
Much of its sales are in the printwear market, which
covers clothing made for races, family reunions, concerts or other events that demand a specialty T-shirt.
Packard says Gildan's quality and diverse lineup have
made it the go-to brand for screen-printers. It offers
more than 90 colors in its printwear portfolio. "No
one comes close to the breadth of offering or the
breadth of color that Gildan has," he explains.
In the retail industry, Gildan supplies big-box
stores such as Target, Walmart, Kmart, J.C. Penny
Co. and Kohl's and also dollar stores such as Family
Dollar and Dollar General. The company is mainly in
the North American market with smaller but growing presences in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In recent years, the company has expanded its
T-shirt offerings to hobbyists who want to make
their own designer apparel. Gildan's goal is to match
the great quality and value it offers retailers and
screen-printers with its hobbyist products.
In 2011, the company converted its first big craft
retailer from a competing brand to Gildan. Now


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2016 - 5
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