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American Apparel uses gift card app to increase holiday revenue

August 10, 2010


Gift your friends this holiday season

American Apparel is the latest retailer partner to be featured in a mobile application that lets consumers give and get gift cards in time for the holiday season.

The company partnered with Firethorn Holdings for the Swagg mobile application. Consumers can receive personalized offers geared to their individual interests and keep current with their loyalty programs via their handset.

“Our technology creates easily accessible, branded and personalized mobile commerce channels that give consumers access to their accounts, offers and transactions while on the go,” said Chip Fishburne, vice president of financial and merchant services at Firethorn Holdings, Atlanta.

“The core target demographic is ages 25-34,” he said. “They are life-optimizers who are on the go and have trouble keeping track of their money – thus, it costs them both time and money.

“This core demographic tends to skew female and be slightly more affluent that their peers – they are college educated, or have some college education, and want to get the most out of their life.” 

American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer of branded fashion basic apparel based in downtown Los Angeles.

Firethorn creates a mobile revenue channel that bridges relationships among consumers, retailers, wireless carriers and financial institutions.

Mobile stuff we all get
Swagg is Firethorn’s direct-to-consumer offering that gives consumers the ability to buy, personalize and exchange gift cards directly from a mobile device. 

Swagg will also provide consumers mobile access to account information, special offers and loyalty programs. 

Consumers using the application will be able to buy American Apparel gift cards, share and exchange them with friends, receive and redeem offers, and view loyalty card points or balances.

The Swagg mobile application will change how consumers transact and interact with the American Apparel brand, per Mr. Fishburne.

“Swagg was announced at CES this past January and a performance by Kid Rock,” Mr. Fishburne said. “Since that point, we have focused on building Swagg by establishing relationships with consumers through experiential, social and digital marketing.”

Mobile merchants
Firethorn is working with other merchants, but would not disclose who they are.

“We know that apps are primarily downloaded from a user’s smartphone device,” Mr. Fishburne said. “In order to build a brand, it’s important to develop a culture of being able to communicate directly with the consumer in engaging and compelling ways.

“Some events we’ve been a part of include SXSW music festival, Bridgehampton Polo and BET Awards,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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