Kit and Ace announced today it would close all stores outside of its native Canada.
The technical fabric performance sportswear brand said the store closures also necessitate a reduction in headcount, though the company didn’t disclose how many jobs would be lost.
“We recognize the traditional world of bricks and mortar retailing is changing, which is why we’re shifting strategies,” Chip Wilson, co-founder of Hold It All Inc., the Vancouver-based holding company that owns Kit and Ace, said in a release, according to The Globe and Mail. “We believe in the business model for Kit and Ace. Going forward, we will be a stronger company.”
This decision follows two rounds of layoffs last year as well as plans to close a quarter of its locations.
The retailer, which offers apparel featuring technical attributes for people who sweat but don’t want to look like it, was launched by the founder of Lululemon Athletica in 2014. The stores offer performance pieces that take the best characteristics of activewear like moisture wicking, breathability and stretch and combine with easy care for busy lifestyles.
“If athleisure is athletic apparel trying to go street, then we’re going for streetwear that performs the exact same way as our activewear,” co-founder JJ Wilson said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times about the company’s focus on the meditation crowd.
Rapid growth and quality issues are two reasons rumored to be at the heart of the company’s recent issues.