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Type of site
United States
No. of locationsThree; Boston, New York City and Nørresundby, Denmark
OwnerShiekh Shoes LLC
Founder(s)Greg Selkoe
ProductsApparel, Accessories, Footwear, Home Goods

Karmaloop is a multi-platform web retailer, community style and media company specializing in streetwear ecommerce.[1] It was founded in 2000 by Greg Selkoe and purchased by Shiekh Shoes in 2016.


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.[2] His initial concept for Karmaloop was to provide universal reach for hard-to-find boutique streetwear brands.[3][4]

The Karmaloop brick and mortar store on Boston's Newbury Street launched in 2005.[5][6] 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.[7][8] In a 2010 interview, Selkoe revealed that the store "never made a penny," and in 2011 it closed.[2][9] In the meantime Karmaloop's online presence grew to a number of websites including online retailer Karmaloop, women's fashion site MissKL,[10] flash-sale site PLNDR,[11] online skateboard shop Brick Harbor,[12] independent marketplace Kazbah,[3] and internet television station KarmaloopTV launched in collaboration with music producer Pharrell Williams and former AMC president Katie McEnroe.[13][14]

In 2011, the company grew by 81%, generating $130 million in revenue.[15][16] 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.[16][17] In particular the sites Monark Box, Miss KL and Boylston Trading did not live up to expectations.[16]

In 2015, Karmaloop filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[17] Annual revenue had fallen to $80 million and the company was over $100 million in debt, $19 million of which it owed to vendors.[16][17] 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.[17][18]

In March 2016, Shiekh Shoes, a west coast footwear and apparel retailer, acquired Karmaloop for an undisclosed amount.[19][20]

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.[7][21] It utilizes new media marketing techniques with a large mailing list[22] and occasional interactive social media Livestream events, featuring musical performances and celebrity guests.[23][24][25][26][3] to drive online sales and build brand loyalty.[7]


  1. ^ Liza Weisstuch (March 20, 2008). "In the loop". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b van der Pool, Lisa (May 6, 2010). "Online streetwear retailer Greg Selkoe finds his groove". Boston Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Jian Deleon (February 29, 2012). "Interview: Making It In America With Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe". Complex Style. Complex Media. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  4. ^ "Karmaloop". Harvard Magazine. Harvard Magazine Inc. December 14, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Jayne O'Donnell (October 12, 2008). "Karmaloop founder keeps ear to street to sell cool clothes". USA Today. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Karmaloop and the Verge culture". ADventures Boston. ADventures Boston. October 18, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Muto-Porter, Maria (April 27, 2012). "Karmaloop's Greg Selkoe on Social Media & the Verge Culture". Entrepreneur.
  8. ^ Rachel Baker (June 19, 2008). "Night Lines: The Karmaloop Relaunch Bash". Boston Magazine. Metrocorp, Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  9. ^ Liz Welch (May 1, 2012). "The ADHD CEO: Greg Selkoe, Karmaloop". Yahoo! Small Business Advisor (from Inc.com). Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  10. ^ Elena (February 21, 2013). "Recent Fad for Girls Fashion". Shades of Summer Boutique. Wordpress. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  11. ^ Accessories Staff (October 31, 2012). "Vote Drive: Flash Sale Site Seeks Social Media Feedback on New Brands". Accessories: The Voice of the Industry. Business Journals, Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  12. ^ Sam Laird (April 3, 2012). "Brick Harbor Aims to Give Skateboarding a New Digital Home [EXCLUSIVE]". Mashable. Mashable. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  13. ^ Sheila Shayon (September 23, 2011). "Can KarmaloopTV become the MTV of the Hip-Hop Generation?". brandchannel. brandchannel. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  14. ^ Pharrell Williams Named Creative Director at KarmaloopTV, retrieved June 9, 2011
  15. ^ Hypebeast. Hypebeeast Tade: Greg Selkoe - CEO/Founder of Karmaloop.com and Karmaloop TV. February 1st, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d Strong, Rebecca (March 23, 2015). "Karmaloop is Reportedly on the Brink of Bankruptcy". BostInno. StreetWise.
  17. ^ a b c d Luna, Taryn (May 21, 2015). "Karmaloop sale approved, CEO Selkoe to be replaced". Beta Boston. Boston Globe.
  18. ^ "Karmaloop Names Industry Veteran Seth Haber CEO". PRNewswire.
  19. ^ Matt, Linder (March 23, 2016). "Will e-retailer Karmaloop step in a new direction under Shiekh Shoes?". Internet Retailer.
  20. ^ Conti, Katheleen; Woolhouse, Megan (March 23, 2016). "Karmaloop acquired by California retailer". Boston Globe.
  21. ^ Inc.com The ADHD CEO: Greg Selkoe, Karmaloop; Liz Welch, May 2012.
  22. ^ "Greg Selkoe". The Huffington Post. June 16, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  23. ^ Annear, Steve (November 26, 2012). "Karmaloop Hires Webcam Strippers to Livechat for 'Titillating' Cyber Monday Campaign". BostInno. StreetWise.
  24. ^ Ed Carrasco, New Media Rock Stars. Live Now: Karmaloop hosts "Freak-a-thon" Live Stream Featuring Bun B and Travie McCoy. December 10th, 2012.
  25. ^ Patroneer. Streaming Live - RIGHT NOW! Deals Gone Wild.
  26. ^ Tolisa Abrams, You Heard That New. Tune In to Karmaloop's Freak-a-Thon Live Stream Tonight at 8pm. May 9th, 2013.