Retail trends for 2017 predict an increase in online sales. Ecommerce sites have seen increasing success as Americans opt for more convenient purchasing options.
However, online retail giants such as Amazon and eBay have made success largely unreachable for smaller companies. Such is the case for JackThreads, the online men’s retailer.
Once part of Thrillist, JackThreats began as a flash sale site, offering deeply discounted menswear, touting limited availability. Recently, the company launched a risky initiative to sell the streetwear at full price.
Offering a model, TryOuts, through which customers could try products at home, the company sent merchandise to customers for their approval. If the customer wasn’t satisfied, they could send products back via free two-way shipping.
Using a business model similar to that of Zappos in 2009, JackThreads expected a similar success to that of Zappos, which was acquired by Amazon. Unfortunately, the company is now in talks with investors about selling the company.
TryOuts launched in May of 2016, at which point JackThreads was already seeking money from investors.
At that point, the company was not profiting and was set to earn a projected $30 million in revenue. Historically, it had earned in excess of $70 million. Recent complaints by customers have indicated cancelled orders and long delivery times.
A spokesman for JackThreads confirmed the sales talks to Fortune, which reported the news as well as impending layoffs by JackThreads.
Jason Ross, Columbus, Ohio entrepreneur, founded JackThreads in 2008. In 2010 the company was bought by Ben Lerer of Thrillist, the digital men’s entertainment brand.
Thrillest’s Lerer acquired the company in an attempt to supplement its advertising business, blending content and commerce. This relationship, however, did not materialize and in 2015 the companies split, raising $54M to fund separate futures.
JackThreads CEO Mark Waller refused to comment when contacted.