YOUR MOVE NEXT: Kitson has made a comeback of sorts on Robertson Boulevard in a move some might say could be fanning the flames with founder Fraser Ross’ aim to reclaim the name.
Ross late Wednesday had the Kitson sign, which he salvaged at the time of the chain’s closing two years ago this month, placed atop his storefront on Robertson Boulevard. Ross had been operating a new concept there called Kitross, which he launched in the spring of last year. The renamed store is now Kitson Kitross.
“It’s what’s rightfully mine that was taken away in circumstances that should never have been allowed,” Ross said of the decision to add Kitson to the store name.
Ross alleged in a lawsuit filed last summer the company was taken fraudulently from him by the retailer’s former chief executive officer Chris Lee, an accusation an attorney for Lee has denied in court. The chain was liquidated in 2015 and sent into general assignment with Kitson’s global trademark acquired by an entity called Kitson Co. Ltd. in late 2016. Ross has since added Kitson lenders Salus Capital and an affiliate of giftables retailer Spencer Spirit to his lawsuit alleging the financial firms pumped the stores with merchandise in the end to generate as much profit in the chain’s final days. Salus Capital was the lender to a number of retailers, including RadioShack, Anna’s Linens and Laura’s Shoppe Inc. Attorneys for the lenders have responded in court, arguing the law with Salus saying Ross lacks the legal standing to sue, alleging any damages claimed would have occurred to the business and not Ross himself.
A trial on the matter has been set for Aug. 15.
Ross expects the new name to carry over into any locations he opens in the future. He operates three stores on Robertson Boulevard, totaling roughly 10,000 square feet: Kitson Kitross, Kitross Kids and the recently opened Los Angeles General Store.
Ross said the idea for the name came when he was in London over the American Thanksgiving holiday. He was in a taxi and noticed a sign for the Pulitzer-prize winning play “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
“The sign said a ‘play about greed and corruption,’” he said. “My story mirrors this story.”
For More West Coast News in WWD: