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Local retailer Kit and Ace a rapid success story

DH Vancouver Staff Jan 19, 2015 8:35 am

Amid doom and gloom stories of retailers like Target and Sony abandoning Canada, there is a good news story coming from a local Vancouver retailer.

Local clothing retailer, Kit and Ace launched their first Vancouver store back in July of 2014. Since then the company has been on a rapid trajectory, expanding their brick and mortar locations into Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto and two U.S. locations in New York and San Francisco.

The company, founded by JJ and Shannon Wilson, focuses on a collection of t-shirts and clothing created with a proprietary cashmere blend making the fabric machine washable and resistant to stretching and shrinkage.

JJ and Shannon

In the six months since opening the Vancouver location the company has been rapidly hiring to fill the demand for their expansion plans. They’ve grown their team from a handful of people to over 240, and currently have plans to expand internationally into Europe, Asia and Australia. Looking at the way retailers like Jacob, Mexx, Reitmans and Le Chateau have been struggling in the market, it’s good to see a local retailer showing strong growth in such a short amount of time.

“We are a learning company, future-focused in our recruiting strategy and in constant pursuit of great talent,” explained JJ Wilson, Founder and Head of Brand at Kit and Ace.

Part of what has made Kit and Ace unique in their approach is the way they’ve rooted each brick and mortar location into the local fabric of the neighbourhood. Each location features elements like lighting and decor from local designers, and a feature art wall displays a rotating selection of hand-picked local artists. These artists are also supported on Kit and Ace’s e-commerce site, bringing attention from a global audience.

With an aggressive five-year expansion plan, Kit and Ace is looking to grow even further, placing a strong emphasis on talent acquisition and employee gratification.

“We know where we are going and we can’t get there alone. We also know that things are changing all the time. We are doing something that has never been done before,” said Shannon Wilson.

Kit and Ace vancouver

Kit and Ace product shot

Images: Submitted

DH Vancouver Staff
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