Vancouver-based brand Kit and Ace has closed its 900 square-foot storefront in West Vancouver at the Park Royal Shopping Centre. For its opening in November 2019, the brand proudly proclaimed “our newest shop in The Village at Park Royal opens this Thursday” and it became the ninth location for Kit and Ace. The company says that the storefront was considered to be a ‘pop-up’.
The location would have been two years old if it had lasted until November 2021. The windows at the shuttered location in Park Royal mentions a Gastown reopening in September 2021, the retailer website stated, “Our Park Royal location is now closed as we relocate to our Gastown shop opening Fall 2021”.
An interview on Retail Insider’s podcast in July 2021 had Kit and Ace co-founder JJ Wilson reminiscing on founding of the brand and no longer being involved. In the podcast he said how Kit and Ace “is predominantly a dot com business or ‘DTC’ … and given COVID-19 its pivot to pure DTC in advance of it was the best thing the company could have done”. As a result, the ongoing closures of Kit and Ace locations was not a surprise.
CEO George Tsogas, who has led Kit and Ace since April of 2017, told Retail Insider in October 2018 that he bought the company from Chip Wilson’s company Hold It All Inc. for an undisclosed sum with the deal having closed on August 31, 2018. This after the retailer reduced its store count to just six locations and one coffee shop in March 2018 after closing all of its international locations in the spring of 2017.
Additional Kit and Ace background from JJ Wilson during Retail Insider’s podcast in July 2021 included discussing the formation of communications firm Very Polite Agency with the brand/marketing team from Kit and Ace as the brand slimmed down to retain the talent. The agency now provides on brand creative, production, PR services, digital marketing, etc. based in Vancouver.