Kit and Ace swings to profitability, reveals new owners
Following its first months of profitability since being founded in 2014, Canadian apparel brand Kit and Ace announced on Wednesday that it is parting ways with its well-known Lululemon co-founders.
The Vancouver-based brand said that its management team purchased the company for an undisclosed amount and will operate it as an independent brand, leaving Shannon and J.J. Wilson - the wife and stepson of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson – out of the company.
"We are excited to begin this next chapter in Kit and Ace's history as owners, leaders and employees" said Tsogas. "We have built a team of passionate and experienced experts in various fields that are coming together under one vision and we love that our guests are connecting with our new apparel and the vision we have for this brand,” said CEO George Tsogas.
Tsogas, who has led Kit and Ace since April 2017, has been working on transitioning the company away from luxury apparel and towards technical apparel for the modern commuter.
In April, Kit and Ace launched its first technical commuter line: The Navigator Collection. The company also introduced the 'bike test' into its design process, which ensures every product is tested on a bike to make sure it can withstand the sport.
On Wednesday, the founder credited its increasing sales momentum and its return to profitability to its new vision aimed towards solving the needs of the modern commuter and its strong collection.
"With the world's urban population surging, we are seeing a new segment of commuters that are riding their bikes to work and want to be office-ready but haven't had apparel options to do so," said Tsogas.
"The commuter way of life is technical and functional, yet allows you to show up to the office looking put-together and professional, without needing to change into something new. This is what we're bringing to our apparel."
Following its 2014 launch, the company went through a rapid expansion, opening over 60 stores internationally in less than three years. But come 2016, with some 600 employees, the company saw a series of layoffs.
Then last year, it finally announced that it would close its international stores, including in the U.S., Australia and the U.K.
Today, it still operates stores in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, as well as an online store.
With new owners and a proven new vision, it looks like there just might be a bright future for Kit and Ace in luxury bike wear.
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