RYU to close NYC, Toronto stores; focus on digital business
Vancouver-based athletic apparel brand RYU Apparel Inc. announced on Friday that it will shift focus to its digital ecommerce business and close two store locations.
The move comes following encouraging growth of online sales in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 and continued shifts in digital preferences among RYU's customer base.
As part of its digital focus, the company has decided to close its Williamsburg and Toronto store locations on February 20, 2022, and March 27, 2022, respectively. The company’s Vancouver flagship location, which also serves as its company headquarters, will remain open.
"The closing of these stores is made more difficult by the loss of excellent team members whose service, loyalty and ambassadorship we are deeply grateful for,” said COO Rob Blair.
“With the continued shift to online shopping, our strategy as a digital-first company is expected to maximize the performance of our capital. I intend to follow this announcement with a comprehensive shareholder letter and strategy review next week."
Looking ahead, RYU expects ecommerce revenue, transaction rate and average order value to double and triple in growth. Likewise, the printed catalogue program, which launched in November 2021, is also expected to increase ecommerce sales.
RYU intends to concentrate its brick-and-mortar presence on co-located "shop-in-shops" and store partnerships, predominately in the U.S.
RYU experienced years of rapid growth before putting the breaks on expansion plans in February 2020. Since then, the Vancouver-based athletic brand has successfully raised $4.8 million, as well as strengthened its executive team with numerous new appointments.
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