Retail Detail. Chicago's Active Endeavors Closing Stores to Focus on Internet Sales



Ask anyone, we have been predicting this for at least a year. According to last week’s Chicago Tribune, Active Endeavors, is shutting its three stores to concentrate on its more-profitable Internet business in it’s quest to try to be the next Shopbop. The writing was on the wall.


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The Evanston-based company has already closed its Glencoe and Lincoln Park stores and will be liquidating merchandise through its Evanston store through February before closing.

Active Endeavors’ website, launched in 2003, accounts for two-thirds of the company’s $15 million in annual revenue and most of its profit, said owner and chief executive Drew Davis. Meanwhile, store sales have remained roughly flat and a big capital expense.

The retailer, which switched its focus from outdoor apparel and gear to fashion merchandise four years ago, has faced tougher competition as national chains such as Intermix (yeah!) moved into Chicago.

Davis noted the cost of rent, payroll and inventory no longer made sense as sales at the stores languished. And let’s face it, Shopbop does not operate a bricks and mortar store, so why should Active Endeavors?

Internet revenue, on the other hand, has been increasing at a 20 to 30% rate annually.

The firm plans to move its headquarters from Evanston to the West Loop and reduce its workforce from 40 to about a dozen employees. That means they can share the wealth with less people. Good luck with that.

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