Richmond Biz Sense reports that Need Supply is planning to shutter due to the coronavirus pandemic. The report was confirmed by their attorney, Corey Booker of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston. It’s unclear whether this means Need Supply will still exist online. From Richmond Biz Sense’s article:
“Need Supply has made the difficult decision to wind down its business and operations in an orderly fashion,” said attorney Corey Booker of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, who is representing Need and it’s parent company, NSTO. Booker declined to comment further.
NSTO is the parent company of both Need and Totokaelo, which is another clothing brand that has stores in Seattle and New York. NSTO has offices in Richmond and New York. It’s unclear how, if at all, Need Supply’s closing affects NSTO or Totokaelo.
Need’s shutdown is expected to take place in the next several months.
The representative declined to comment on the future of Need’s real estate, which includes a store at 3100 W. Cary St. and a headquarters at 3301 W. Moore St., as well as a warehouse at 1600 Belleville St. in Scott’s Addition and a warehouse in Sandston. Need also has a store in Tokyo.
Founded in 1996, Need Supply is one of the first high-profile, mostly-online fashion boutiques to shutter because of the pandemic. In the last few months, countless small businesses have already shuttered, and a handful of large corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Need Supply, on the other hand, is a leading and large boutique retailer comparable to Unionmade and their sister store Totokaelo. In recent years, they’ve also been able to attract investor capital and land on the RVA 25 list of Richmond’s fastest-growing companies. Their pending closure emphasizes that many more unexpected bankruptcies are to come.
Need Supply was the first retailer I saw hold a sale because of the pandemic. Just a few short hours after the Bay Area announced its lockdown, making it the first US region to do so, I received this email from Need Supply below. “This is a very confusing week for us,” they wrote. “The truth is we don’t really know what message is right or wrong at a time like this. We do know that if people do not engage in economic activity, small and independent businesses will cease to exist, so now is all of us to support each other responsibly. We are encouraging you to find a way to support the unique businesses you know and love.” The email ended with a note that they’re holding a 25% sitewide promotion, which was a sale that ended up lasting weeks.