Land of Nod shuttered almost all of its retail stores Jan. 29, with one in California still winding down, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
The Crate & Barrel-owned children's home goods and furniture brand will continue to sell online and through 15 Crate & Barrel stores nationwide, the company told Retail Dive in an email.
Crate & Barrel itself last month closed its original Chicago flagship store and has been working to right itself after a few of years of turmoil in its executive suite. The company also shuttered its New York City flagship three years ago.
Land of Nod was founded in 1996 by childhood friends Scott Eirinberg and Jamie Cohen, and Crate & Barrel came calling in 2001, according to the division's website. The companies forged a partnership that helped Crate & Barrel expand its assortment and allowed Land of Nod to reach more customers. A couple of years later, Crate & Barrel took a 50% stake, and two years after that, the brand opened its first stand-alone stores, according to Crain's. It was a good fit for Crate & Barrel, which boasts a solid reputation for affordable, but not cheap, European-style home goods, and the furniture retailer has wholly owned the kids brand since 2010, about when first Eirinberg and then Cohen left.
The brand for years fetched premium prices with a wholesome, gender-neutral, arts and crafts aesthetic, but has been challenged lately by copycats offering similar merchandise at better prices. Target's new Pillowfort line in particular seems to share DNA with Land of Nod. Savvy parents have taken note that a fabric indoor teepee by Pillowfort, for example, resembles a line from Land of Nod. Target has just one design, while Land of Nod has many, but the Pillowfort model is $70 cheaper even at the regular price.
The store closures, which will entail the loss of 25 jobs, comes after a series of leadership shakeups in Crate & Barrel's top ranks, ever since the 2012 retirement of longtime CEO Barbara Turf, who was known for leading the company with creativity and flair. After her death in 2014, the company was without its rudder. Adding to the chaos, CEO Sascha Bopp and President Marta Calle abruptly departed later that year, just two years after their appointments.
Doug Diemoz, who arrived from Restoration Hardware in 2015, was hired to give Crate & Barrel a new direction, but eventually left last year amid accusations that he and another former Restoration Hardware hire brought with them proprietary knowledge of RH's food and beverage operations, part of an experiment in Chicago to boost Restoration Hardware's retail experience. Neela Montgomery took over as CEO last August, after having led Multi-Channel Retail strategy as executive board member at Crate & Barrel's parent, Hamburg-based Otto Group.