Banks Journal Announces Closure
Banks Journal is expected to cease operations Friday following a bumpy stretch in the business brought on by challenges from the pandemic.
Co-founder Rama McCabe announced the news Thursday on the brand’s and his personal Instagram accounts.
“On Friday, Oct. 13, we will close our doors for the last time and bid farewell to all of you,” McCabe said in his announcement. “Our hope is that you will continue to support our incredible retail partners until the last Banks Journal products have left their shelves, and that you will find an everyday journey with our brand in your life.”
No reason was given for the decision to close. McCabe did not respond to requests for comment on the closure.
As of Thursday evening, the site’s e-commerce shop was no longer taking orders, with the message “We’re Currently Closed” on the home page. On Wednesday, a happy hour goodbye gathering was held for Banks Journal at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki. The company had a licensing deal to produce Surfjack-branded product, while also filling the hotel’s store with Banks Journal’s and other brands’ products.
A pre-recorded message at the company’s only other physical location, in downtown Los Angeles, says the store cannot accept phone calls and advises callers to email support.
McCabe started the business in 2014 with Motoo Noda, Masa Shibahara, and Tim Cochran.
The four created a unique surf-inspired brand with their influences drawing from Australia and Japan. McCabe and Cochran, in particular, came with industry experience, having both worked at Rip Curl. Cochran also clocked time at Rhythm and later worked as Hurley head of product. McCabe’s resume includes time at Globe, O’Neill, and The Critical Slide Society.
“We started this project to merge style and function with a sustainable approach to design and development,” McCabe said in his message to followers. “We were fortunate to have a unique perspective on coastal living, inspired by our Japanese and Australian heritage.”
McCabe told SES earlier this year the brand was distributed in roughly 500 doors globally, with most – about 300 – located in the U.S.
At the time of the interview with SES, Banks Journal had recently made the move to expand into the women’s business beginning with the Spring 2023 collection.
The business, like many others, was having a tough time post-pandemic. McCabe told SES the company was grappling with excess inventory from an oversupply that stemmed from the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom. To help the business overcome hurdles and also scale, Banks Journal brought in former Reef Global Brand President Jeff Moore to serve as interim CEO this year. Up until that point, McCabe had helmed the business.
Moore told SES at the time he was focused on a global go-to-market strategy, growing boutique distribution, collaborations, and product segmentation.
It’s unclear how much of that strategy was executed. Moore left the label in September, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Banks Journal has since filed for bankruptcy, the details of which can be found by clicking here.