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Canada’s Kit and Ace to close U.S. stores


Kit and Ace, the company founded by the family of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, is pulling back on brick-and-mortar outside of its home base to focus online.

The upscale athleisure retailer announced it is “simplifying” its business plan and operations, reducing head office staff and closing its 32 locations in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Kit and Ace said it is shifting focus to its “solid” Canadian showrooms and global e-commerce platform.

"We recognize the traditional world of bricks and mortar retailing is changing, which is why we're shifting strategies," said Chip Wilson, founder of Hold It All Inc., the Vancouver-based holding company which owns Kit and Ace. "We believe in the business model for Kit and Ace. Going forward, we will be a stronger company."

As for the staff reductions, Wilson noted that “fewer stores require fewer people.” Kit and Ave has nine locations in Canada.

“We remain deeply grateful for the creativity and commitment of those leaving the company and thank them for their valuable contribution,” he said.

Kit and Ace opened its first store, in Vancouver, in summer 2014, and quickly expanded to some 50 locations in just about two years.
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