Vancouver company Shoes.com to declare bankruptcy
Company websites went offline on Jan. 27, stores shut down
Vancouver company Shoes.com has announced it will be shutting down operations effective Friday.
All three of its e-commerce properties — SHOES.com, OnlineShoes.com and ShoeME.ca — went offline today, and its brick-and-mortar stores in Vancouver and Toronto also closed.
Once a rising star of the Canadian e-commerce scene, Shoes.com now says it currently intends to assign some or all of the group companies into bankruptcy.
Employees were made aware of the decision this morning, the company said in a press release, and they will be compensated through the end of the month. A limited group of staff will stay on through the next few weeks as Shoes.com winds down all operations.
Shoes.com also said it's working with its lenders to determine the process to liquidate assets.
CEO created Clearly Contacts as well
It was headed by CEO Roger Hardy, who also founded Clearly Contacts in 2000 and was hoping to replicate some of its success with SHOES.com.
Customers at ClearlyContacts.ca, one of the biggest online retailers of prescription contact lenses and glasses in the world, can upload photos of themselves and see how certain frames look on their face or use the "perfect fit" tool to find frames that match the fit of their current glasses using the serial number on their frames.
Having an automated manufacturing plant and only a few physical stores allowed Clearly Contacts to reduce labour costs to $1 per pair and undercut prices of traditional optical stores by 25 to 50 per cent.
CBC reached out to Shoes.com for comment but did not immediately hear back.