Amazon’s Woot takes it in the shorts over change in its shirts

Woot, the daily deal company acquired by Amazon.com two years ago, announced plans overnight to shift away from its longtime t-shirt supplier, American Apparel, and start using short-sleeved shirts made by Anvil in Honduras for the popular original designs sold by its Shirt.Woot site.

Suffice it to say that the legions of Shirt.Woot users are not happy about this change, judging from the tone of the hundreds of comments that have greeted the news.

The news follows Woot’s decision last month to increase the first-day price of the shirts by $2, to $12 apiece.

“Anvil is definitely inferior to AA in every way. Especially since they are not made in the USA,” reads one of the more level-headed comments. “Raising the price and lowering the quality is not a great business plan.”

In its announcement, Woot defends the decision to go outside the U.S. for the shirts, and acknowledges that cost is a factor.

As their exhaustive and frank Corporate Social Responsibility progress report shows, Anvil holds itself to high environmental and labor standards. We realize the fact that they’re made in Honduras will set off red flags for some people — honestly, we weren’t sure about that ourselves at first. But with a 77% unionized workforce and 100% WRAP-certified factories, we’re comfortable Anvil is serious about treating its workers decently. …

For a long time, we ran on thin margins that didn’t leave us much room to experiment. Now we can continue expanding our selection and taking chances on different kinds of products that we may not have been able to try before.

Apart from concerns about shifting to a non-U.S. supplier, the fit of the Anvil shirts is a sticking point for some Woot users.

“I’ll buy one and see how it fits, but I’m almost certainly out after that. I’ve had anvil shirts before. They fit much ‘bigger’ in the chest and are shorter. They also shrink more,” writes one. “Good job screwing up woot. I’ve bought almost 100 shirts in just over a year, you can count on those number dwindling.”

Woot notes that the change will be gradual, and the company will maintain its existing suppliers for hoodies and longsleeve tees.

Even so, it’s probably time for Woot’s monkey mascots, Mortimer and Monte, to step in and smooth things over with a clever rap or something. What rhymes with Honduras?

  • http://www.bestgeekfriend.com Matt Ebert

    Being
    an owner of literally DOZENS of Woot shirts that I have purchased over
    the past several years for both myself and Matte this is distressing.
    In fact I am wearing one of my Woot shirts today. Shocker, I know.
    However, since upping their price a couple months ago by $2 I have not
    purchased a single one. And now with the announcement that they are
    moving from exclusively using American Apparel
    shirts to Anvil shirts manufactured overseas (Is Honduras considered “overseas”, I have just never liked the Anvil quality) they have pretty
    much lost me as a customer. I welcomed the purchase of Woot by Amazon a
    couple years ago, even if it meant that I now had to pay sales tax on
    my purchases. But I was hoping this was a good move. Not so much
    looking like it now. :(
     

  • Guest

    The key thing that impressed me most about my w00t shirt was the quality.  Guess they don’t care anymore.

  • http://gentlewit.com/ Cyndy

    I’m certainly not giddy over American jobs going overseas, but what bothers me is this change comes so soon after the price increase. The two together is very unsettling and has yet to be formally acknowledged by anyone from Woot.

  • Wooter

    450 comments on a thread announcing (OMG say it isn’t so!) change is hardly “taking it in the shorts.”  You are as guilty of assumption as most of the Wooters in that thread.  You can call it that when their sales drop (which I don’t think will happen).

    Also, choosing one or two quotes that show your obvious bias is hardly fair to Woot or to the “legions” of Wooters who like the change.  There have been complaints about the women’s sizing for years.  Supposedly these ones are better.

    In any event, claiming that Woot is somehow in trouble because some vocal forum-types complain a lot is irresponsible.  So is assuming the quality and sizing will be worse than what Woot has had so far … especially since none of the people complaining have actually tried the new shirts.

    • Ex-wooter

      Um, I tried the new shirts so as to give them a chance. It’s basically unwearable. I’m tall and narrow. AA fit is/was perfect. There better be lots of short, fat wooters out there, because the Anvils are cut like football jerseys. Weak. Sauce :(

      • foodiebear

        Agreed! The new suppliers cut is completely unwearable. Uhg.. Im so pissed.