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Threadless Announces Layoffs, Store Closing

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 14, 2014 7:30PM

2012_02_27_threadless.jpg Chicago-based t-shirt company Threadless, an Internet success story long before Chicago became a hotbed for tech startups, announced they were laying off 27 percent of its workforce and closing its Lakeview retail shop as the company restrategizes its business operations.

Founder and CEO Jake Nickell wrote in a Jan. 10 blog post the decision was "one of the most difficult decisions since Threadless began."

Over the past few years, we've experimented with new and exciting ways to create meaningful, game-changing opportunities for artists. While some of these initiatives worked really well, others did not. Today, we stop working on some of the projects that weren’t clear winners. We know now where we need to be investing our time and effort, and I believe these are the key projects that will propel Threadless forward.

Nickell, in an email to Crain's Chicago Business, said retail development is still part of Threadless' business strategy but that "rather than trying to do it all ourselves, we intend to focus our attention toward our technology platform in order to better service Threadless artists, our community, and design submission and sharing."

Threadless will be ending some product lines that aren't part of the new strategy. Nickell also noted that new hires will come as the company expands.

Threadless laid off 23 members of its 84-person workforce.