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Kit and Ace Cuts Head Office Staff

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Technical apparel company Kit and Ace is experiencing some difficulties after poor performance.

The company, launched by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s wife Shannon and son J.J., plans to cut 20 percent of its 280 head office staff, The Vancouver Sun reported. In addition, J.J. Wilson is no longer a Kit and Ace executive.

“Chip and Shannon Wilson today announced a reorganization in the head office staff of popular international clothing brand, Kit and Ace,” a company press release said.

According to media reports, Kit and Ace’s staff members were notified about the layoffs Wednesday. The fresh round of cuts followed a move earlier this year to nix 10 percent of the head office staff.

A company report also noted that Kit and Ace expects to shutter 15 of its 60 “pop up” shops, until it locates alternative retail spaces. No Kit and Ace “showrooms” will close, since they are crucial brick-and-mortar locations to the brand.

J.J. Wilson will remain on the company’s board. It is not known what will happen to other executives throughout Kit and Ace’s reorganization. Part of the company’s dilemma could stem from the fact that it grew too fast and unfortunately did not impact the athleisure market successfully.

The launch of the brand is “a case of a lot of hype and very little substance,” DIG360 Consulting retail analyst Raymond Shoolman said. “They had to manufacture very quickly before someone else came up with something similar and they wanted to dominate that market and be the go-to product, but nobody came after them.”

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