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Kitsbow Announces It’s Closing: No More Repairs, Returns, or Warranty Work

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From the highs of new products today, to the lows of harsh economic realities: Kitsbow has just announced that they are closing up shop. The news was dropped on their Instagram page along with a lengthy letter from the current CEO David Billstrom on their website.

The news comes as a big shock after recent announcements like new flannel fits, and an apparel store to buy and sell used gear. The news also comes just over a year after a major corporate restructuring. In January of 2022, Kitsbow announced that investors local to North Carolina and employees had purchased the company from its shareholders with the expectation that it would be a majority ownership by employees in the future. It also included a transition to a certified B Corp.

So what happened in that short period of time? According to the letter written by Billstrom, they simply couldn’t raise enough capital to grow. The letter mentions hitting just 50% of their $1m goal on WeFunder, though there is technically still two days left on the campaign and it’s currently at $653,813. From the sounds of it though, it’s still not enough.

Which brings us to what may be the end of Kitsbow. According to the letter, the company will remain open and continue to pay their employees for at least another two weeks, finishing existing “Made to Order” purchases. The last day of production is scheduled for April, 7th. Currently, everything in stock is marked down 20% – but comes with a caveat of no returns, repairs, or warranty work. All sales are final.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the end for Kitsbow. We’re hoping they can still find a way to make it work!

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sns
sns
11 months ago

Damn, no comments, this is super sad to see any business go under, but especially one that was doing things different. I hope all of those people that scream about MADE IN USA being their driving force, realize there was a brand doing it and did not get enough support. Wishing the best to all involved, this is hard to read.

Greg
Greg
11 months ago
Reply to  sns

As much as people whine about prices on this site I can only imagine that this is and was the case.

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
11 months ago

Sad. I wish all involved the best going forward.

Cyclekrieg
Cyclekrieg
11 months ago

I have zero sympathy for Kitsbow, just the workers who get shafted while the higher ups walk away with cash. Kitsbow was always a brand that traded on its “premium” panache without much else other than that to go on. Yes, in recent years they moved their work into the USA, which is good, but they still used a lot of man-made materials in their products. If you wanted an item not made of planet-killing materials and/or was made locally, there were always cheaper/better options, they just weren’t getting pumped up by the biking press.

I do believe a lot of the bike press built up Kitsbow as something special and amazing. All the time overlooking smaller brands that were as good, or cheaper, or more ethical.

AtHomeDadBod
AtHomeDadBod
11 months ago
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

Can you please provide exam of these smaller brands?

myke
myke
9 months ago
Reply to  Cyclekrieg

This comment is off base. Kitsbow was a small employee-owned company. Secondly, they used high-end textiles. in fact, there are not very many textile mills in the US. From that perspective, this comment just falls flat. also, you negate the mention that Kitbow was always willing to repair their garments and opened a shop to help people sell their used kitsbow products. There were simply no other companies like this in the cycling industry, none!

Kitsbow will be missed, great people and product that was made to last! I am crossing my fingers and hoping they can come back to some fashion in the future.

Joe sho
Joe sho
11 months ago

Guess they should have made products
affordable to the average person , greed is always the end ….

Michael S
Michael S
11 months ago

This is sad. A couple friends and I bought quite a bit of Kitsbow (I spent ~ $2.5k) back around 5 years ago. I only had a problem once with a jersey T and they were awesome about replacing it. I especially liked their merino offerings.

That said, after buying and using their stuff then I gravitated away to other premium brands that started supplying the mountain and gravel bike market. Kitsbow prices were high but not out of line with other premium brands. For me, I just found better value, styles, and utility elsewhere and stopped buying from them, right about the time they moved their headquarters from Marin to NC.

They seemed like a great company and I wish all involved only the best.

Tom
Tom
11 months ago

Feel bad that it happened, but not entirely surprised. I don’t think they targeted a particularly big segment of the market with their premium priced gear that wasn’t particularly feature/technology packed. People who spend this kind of money on clothing need more reasons than just feeling good about supporting a “sustainable” business. I hope everyone involved lands on their feet.

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