Mar 13, 2024 - Business

Outdoor Voices to close all retail stores, employees say

The baby blue Outdoor Voices storefront in Georgetown

The Georgetown Outdoor Voices store. Photo: Mimi Montgomery

Athleisure brand Outdoor Voices is shuttering retail stores nationwide and moving online, several former employees tell Axios.

Why it matters: Outdoor Voices took a big bet with prime locations in many of the country's fastest-growing cities, but the storefronts were short-lived, some lasting only a year or two, writes Axios' Nicole Cobler.

  • The D.C. store in Georgetown was closed Wednesday afternoon during normal business hours and no one was answering the phone.

Driving the news: Current and former Outdoor Voices employees at stores in Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, Houston, and San Diego told Axios reporters that their stores would shutter by Sunday.

What they're saying: One Austin employee who worked on the company's marketing team said they and other employees were abruptly laid off in brief meetings Tuesday.

  • "It was very sudden," the former employee, who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation, told Axios. "Store teams were told by their manager — who were also laid off — that effective as of end of day Sunday, that every single one of our Outdoor Voices stores are closing as well."
  • They were told the brand is moving to online only.
  • An employee in Denver, who also asked to not be named out of fear of retaliation, told Axios' Alayna Alvarez that they and other retail workers did not receive severance pay.

Zoom in: An internal message obtained by Axios told retail employees that "Outdoor Voices is embarking on a new chapter as we transition to an exclusively online business."

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