Over four years ago menswear online retailer Kent & Lime started out because it wanted to make shopping for men easy, but sadly this week the company made a decision to call it quits following issues with cash flow.
“We are closing because time and money was against us. We explored every avenue, every possible scenario but the emotional and realistic decision to end Kent & Lime was the right thing to do,” said Kent & Lime in a compelling statement on its homepage (which is no longer operational), thanking its customers, brand partners and all those who supported the business.
“On behalf of the team here, I would like to thank you our customers from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey and making it an experience everyone will remember,” said co-founder of Kent & Lime, Will Rogers.
The company, which launched its e-commerce platform in 2013 created a fashion solution for its 30+ male target audience, selling branded clothing, with a slightly different business model, one where its “style advisors” helped ensure its consumers were well-fitted, with the ideal ensemble arriving at their doorstep in the form of a kit.
I caught up with Rogers yesterday, who said there were a number of issues that led to the company’s challenges with time and money, including not getting the results it had hoped for to securing financial investment, that would enable it to run a different and more refined business model.
“In late 2016 we decided to change from a stock holding model in favour of working with brands and retailers supplying us stock based on drop ship. This was a more fluid and commercial set up that had the very real potential to decrease working capital pressures. Whilst we were actively raising capital we also needed results, unfortunately the encouraging results we did create were not enough to secure investment in time. We made the decision to close as the time and working capital to complete the model change was eating our runway,” said Rogers. “The business was received well by customers and had organically grown with very little investment.”
Rogers says next steps for the company is really about handling the liquidation, which is quite a process as well as timely. “We had a good business and one that created value so there are bound to be elements that will create value for someone,” he adds.
And what about Rogers himself? He laughs. “Well I’m going to spend more time with my girlfriend,” he says. Now father of a one year old, Rogers says that over the past four years, spending time building a business left him a bit time poor, and he now hopes to balance things out a little with his family, and spending some time thinking about his future options in business as well, especially with the lessons learnt over the last few years. “I’m going to spend some time with the family, unpack a few learnings from the last 4 four years and look at my options.”
“Our vision was to make style simple by creating a different, exciting and fun way to get clothes. Building a service that was new, respected and challenged the status quo was amazing – an Australian business that really made a difference.”
Rogers says that the notion of personalisation is not going away. “It takes people to try and create value to effect change so I’m proud of what we did and I’m sure that the customers will now look for a solution like this in the future.”