Tie Bar to close Naperville warehouse, plans to increase Chicago staff
The Tie Bar, known for its neckware worn by Hollywood greats Bruce Willis, Jay Z, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and others, will close its warehouse in Naperville on Aug. 18 and lay off about 35 workers.
Revenues at the Chicago-based company have been increasing each year, and in order for the trend to continue, the tie company decided to outsource its warehouse and delivery services to Austin, Texas-based Newgistics, which will operate the warehouse in Kentucky, said Tie Bar CEO Michael Alter. The company only sells on the Internet and does not have stores.
"This was not an easy decision for us and we are doing our best to support and help those transitioning," Alter said. "The company growth we have enjoyed made this move inevitable in order to continue delivering our customers the service levels we strive for on their behalf."
Greg and Gina Shugar started The Tie Bar about 10 years ago when they lived in Naperville. They now live out of state after they sold the company in 2013. The Tie Bar became a destination for stylish men's accessories, such as neckties, bow ties, tie bars, pocket squares and socks. The popularity of the trendy ties has been growing.
Celebrities have sported the ties on the red carpet, for covers of GQ and other magazines.
The company is growing. Revenues were about $10 million in 2012 and about $16 million in 2013. About a 40 percent increase in revenues is expected in 2014, Alter said.
Employees in Naperville have been offered severance packages and will be provided job search guidance and counseling, Alter said.
The company decided to outsource the warehouse operations out of state, instead of staying in Illinois, because "this was the best choice," Alter said.
"We did an extensive search for the best provider, based on customer service and delivery times," Alter said.
The Tie Bar opened its headquarters in Chicago in May and plans to hire additional marketing and technology employees there. Prior to opening the downtown office, all employees worked in Naperville. The company, without the warehouse, has 25 workers, Alter said.
The business will remain based on the Internet and has no plans to open stores or offer products for women, he said.
"We plan to grow our product lines, including for socks and belts, and increase awareness of who we are," Alter said. "But we will remain a company that sells men's accessories only."