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Kit And Ace Closes Fulton Market Shop Just 18 Months After Launch

By Stephanie Lulay | May 9, 2017 12:17pm
 A Kit and Ace store at 821 W. Fulton Market has closed.
A Kit and Ace store at 821 W. Fulton Market has closed.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

CHICAGO — Less than two years after launching in Chicago, retailer Kit and Ace has closed its Fulton Market shop. 

The move to close the stores comes as Canadian company Kit and Ace announced plans to close all of its U.S. and international stores late last month. The Fulton Market store, at 821 W. Fulton Market, was open for about 18 months.

Plans to open a store in Wicker Park never materialized, despite initial plans.

Known for their machine-washable cashmere clothing, Vancouver-based Kit and Ace was founded in 2014 by Shannon Wilson, the wife of ex-Lululemon CEO Chip Wilson, and her stepson JJ Wilson. Following success in Canada, the company went on to expand rapidly in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

In September, Kit and Ace began closing a quarter of its 60 stores, according to Fast Company. In late April, the company announced plans to close all of its U.S. and international stores. About 10 stores in Canada are expected to remain open. 

In place of retail storefronts, the company plans to focus on its e-commerce business, Chip Wilson, founder of the holding company that owns Kit and Ace, said in a statement. 

"We recognize the traditional world of bricks and mortar retailing is changing, which is why we're shifting strategies," Wilson said. Wilson "We believe in the business model for Kit and Ace. Going forward, we will be a stronger company."

Scheduled to take over the shuttered Marc by Marc Jacobs storefront on Damon, Kit and Ace never opened as planned last summer.

Sandwiched between Ramen Takeya and Publican Quality Meats, Kit and Ace opened its Fulton Market storefront in September 2015. The retailer was one of an early crop of national retailers to open in the West Loop, including luxury retailer Billy Reid and women's trend and vintage store Free People. 

Anthropolgie, another Urban Outfitters brand, has also signed a 10-year lease to open on Randolph in the West Loop.