Friday, October 9, 2015

Kit & Ace Bringing "Technical Luxury" to Atlanta

New to market retailer coming to Ponce City Market.

Vancouver-based Kit & Ace plans to open its first Atlanta area location in Ponce City Market next month.   The new 1,400 square foot "studio shop" should open by the middle of November.   

Shannon Wilson, wife of lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson, launched Kit & Ace early last year with their son J.J. Wilson.  The Wilsons describe the brand as "athleisure," offering  "technical luxury."

Offerings for men include an 86% cotton, 10% cashmere, 4% spandex men's "V TEE" shirt priced at $88, and the 86% cotton, 10% cashmere, 4% elastane "Park Henley"priced at $118. 

Women's offerings include the  81% viscose, 9% cashmere, 10% spandex "Knicker Panty" priced at $52, and the 80% modal, 10% cashmere, 10% spandex "Sullivan Midi Dress" priced at $168. 

In addition to the store at Ponce City Market, a second, larger store, measuring about 2,500 square feet, will open in March on Buckhead Avenue at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.  The Buckhead store will include a "Technical Atelier", which is an in-store tailor shop. A Kit & Ace spokesperson indicated the brand may "look for a space with a larger footprint in Ponce City Market next year," but that it was not a sure thing.

While the Ponce City Market location makes sense, the location at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is a bit of a head-scratcher.  With limited brand awareness locally, I think Kit & Ace would benefit tremendously from the foot traffic at established shopping destination like Lenox Square versus the traffic challenged The Shops Buckhead Atlanta location.  

Kit & Ace reportedly first contemplated opening in the former Jack Spade in Westside Provisions District, but instead opted for their first store to be at the recently opened Ponce City Market instead.  (Both projects are owned by Jamestown Properties.) 

Kit & Ace is described as a lifestyle brand "designed for those whose busy lives don’t allow them the luxury to slow down."  Kit & Ace, seems to offer items similar to James Perse, Vince and Splendid, with a heavy emphasis on cashmere and comfort.  Like others in their segment, Kit & Ace offers clothing for both men and women.  

When I first got wind of the chain's impending arrival in Atlanta early this year, The Vancouver-based company only had a handful of stores open: five in Canada, and one each in San Francisco and New York.  

Today the chain has grown significantly with eight locations, one pop-up store open in Canada, and a tenth unit coming soon.  The chain has seventeen locations/three pop-ups open, with a dozen more coming soon to the United States.  Kit & Ace has also grown internationally with four locations spread across Australia and a single location in London.  

Kit & Ace reportedly aspires to generate $1 billion in sales within five years.

Have you been to Kit & Ace?  What are your thoughts on the brand?  Do you think the store will thrive in both Atlanta locations or should the Buckhead shop been in Lenox instead?

Please share your thoughts below.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

$88 t-shirt? $118 t-shirt!? You have GOT to be kidding me. That's almost immoral.