Karmaloop

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Karmaloop
Type Private
Founded 2000
Headquarters Boston, United States
No. of locations Three; Boston, New York City and Nørresundby, Denmark
Founder(s) Greg Selkoe
Key people Seth Haber (CEO)
Owner Comvest Partners and CapX Partners
Website www.karmaloop.com
Alexa rank 26,777[1]

Karmaloop is a multi-platform web retailer, community style and media company specializing in streetwear ecommerce.[2]

History[edit]

Karmaloop was founded in 2000 by Greg Selkoe in his parents' basement in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Selkoe's interests in break dancing, graffiti art, and fashion influenced his decision to focus his business on urban style and streetwear.[3] His initial concept for Karmaloop was to provide universal reach for hard-to-find boutique streetwear brands.[4][5]

The Karmaloop brick and mortar store on Boston’s Newbury Street launched in 2005.[6][7] The store carried products available on the website as well as limited edition items, and was often used as a testing ground for new products.[8][9] In a 2010 interview, Selkoe revealed that the store "never made a penny," and in 2011 it closed.[3][10] In the meantime Karmaloop's online presence grew to a number of websites including online retailer Karmaloop, women's fashion site MissKL,[11] flash-sale site PLNDR,[12] online skateboard shop Brick Harbor,[13] independent marketplace Kazbah,[4] and internet television station KarmaloopTV launched in collaboration with music producer Pharrell Williams and former AMC president Katie McEnroe.[14][15]

In 2011, the company grew by 81%, generating $130 million in revenue.[16][17] It continued to expand in 2012 and 2013, before starting to encounter financial troubles in 2014 due to debt obligations and the underperformance of some of the new arms of the business.[17][18] In particular the sites Monark Box, Miss KL and Boylston Trading did not live up to expectations.[17]

In 2015, Karmaloop filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[18] Annual revenue had fallen to $80 million and the company was over $100 million in debt, $19 million of which it owed to vendors.[17][18] Comvest Capital and CapX Partners purchased the company in May 2015 and announced plans to restructure its management, with Seth Haber named CEO, moving Selkoe to an advisory role.[18][19]

Marketing profile[edit]

Karmaloop employs the term "Verge Culture" to define its target lifestyle and demographic market: creative, early adopting digital natives who follow trends in music, fashion, art, technology, and action sports.[8][20] It utilizes new media marketing techniques with a large mailing list[21] and occasional interactive social media Livestream events, featuring musical performances and celebrity guests.[22][23][24][25][4] to drive online sales and build brand loyalty.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Site overview: Karmaloop.com". Alexa. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Liza Weisstuch (20 March 2008). "In the loop". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b van der Pool, Lisa (6 May 2010). "Online streetwear retailer Greg Selkoe finds his groove". Boston Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Jian Deleon (29 February 2012). "Interview: Making It In America With Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe". Complex Style. Complex Media. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Karmaloop". Harvard Magazine. Harvard Magazine Inc. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Jayne O'Donnell (12 October 2008). "Karmaloop founder keeps ear to street to sell cool clothes". USA Today. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Karmaloop and the Verge culture". ADventures Boston. ADventures Boston. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Muto-Porter, Maria (27 April 2012). "Karmaloop's Greg Selkoe on Social Media & the Verge Culture". Entrepreneur. 
  9. ^ Rachel Baker (19 June 2008). "Night Lines: The Karmaloop Relaunch Bash". Boston Magazine. Metrocorp, Inc. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Liz Welch (1 May 2012). "The ADHD CEO: Greg Selkoe, Karmaloop". Yahoo! Small Business Advisor (from Inc.com). Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Elena (21 February 2013). "Recent Fad for Girls Fashion". Shades of Summer Boutique. Wordpress. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Accessories Staff (31 October 2012). "Vote Drive: Flash Sale Site Seeks Social Media Feedback on New Brands". Accessories: The Voice of the Industry. Business Journals, Inc. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Sam Laird (3 April 2012). "Brick Harbor Aims to Give Skateboarding a New Digital Home [EXCLUSIVE]". Mashable. Mashable. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Sheila Shayon (23 September 2011). "Can KarmaloopTV become the MTV of the Hip-Hop Generation?". brandchannel. brandchannel. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Pharrell Williams Named Creative Director at KarmaloopTV, retrieved June 9, 2011 
  16. ^ Hypebeast. Hypebeeast Tade: Greg Selkoe - CEO/Founder of Karmaloop.com and Karmaloop TV. February 1st, 2012.
  17. ^ a b c d Strong, Rebecca (23 March 2015). "Karmaloop is Reportedly on the Brink of Bankruptcy". BostInno. StreetWise. 
  18. ^ a b c d Luna, Taryn (21 May 2015). "Karmaloop sale approved, CEO Selkoe to be replaced". Beta Boston. Boston Globe. 
  19. ^ "Karmaloop Names Industry Veteran Seth Haber CEO". PRNewswire. 
  20. ^ Inc.com The ADHD CEO: Greg Selkoe, Karmaloop; Liz Welch, May 2012.
  21. ^ "Greg Selkoe". The Huffington Post. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  22. ^ Annear, Steve (26 November 2012). "Karmaloop Hires Webcam Strippers to Livechat for 'Titillating' Cyber Monday Campaign". BostInno. StreetWise. 
  23. ^ Ed Carrasco, New Media Rock Stars. Live Now: Karmaloop hosts "Freak-a-thon" Live Stream Featuring Bun B and Travie McCoy. December 10th, 2012.
  24. ^ Patroneer. Streaming Live - RIGHT NOW! Deals Gone Wild.
  25. ^ Tolisa Abrams, You Heard That New. Tune In to Karmaloop's Freak-a-Thon Live Stream Tonight at 8pm. May 9th, 2013.