Threadless Says Goodbye to Ravenswood

By Hunter Clauss | Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo courtesy Threadless.

Innovative T-shirt retailer Threadless will be moving its headquarters from Ravenswood to the West Loop area. The 10-year-old company has made a name for itself by allowing artists to upload their designs on the retailer?s website, where prospective customers can vote on the designs. The T-shirts with the most votes are then screen printed and sold on the website and at Threadless?s two stores in Lake View and Wicker Park.

Charles Stephens, the vice president of operations for Threadless, said the company needs a larger space in order to streamline its operations. Stephens said Threadless currently keeps most of its bulk inventory in a warehouse located on Berteau Avenue, and it takes an hour to load merchandise onto a truck to send to the company?s main office on Ravenswood Avenue. Stephens said the new, 45,000-square-foot West Loop office, located at 1260 W. Madison St., will merge the warehouse with the main office.

?It will seriously remove the bottleneck in our operations,? said Stephens. ?We needed a larger, functional warehouse as well as an office space.?

Stephens said the company plans to make the move in July, assuming the City Council will sign off this week on a zoning change that will allow Threadless to operate in the building. Stephens said another perk of the West Loop location is that the company won?t have to share the building with other businesses like it does with its Ravenswood headquarters.

In addition to centralizing Threadless?s operations, the new location will also feature a ?robust? retail area that includes computer terminals where customers can place orders, said Stephens. The company also hopes to expand its atrium, which will include ping-pong tables, TVs, and the company?s Airstream trailer.

?People come through our atrium all day long, and it?s king of like our center of activity,? said Stephens. ?We wanted to preserve that, so we?re going to build our own. ?

The Chicago Journal first reported on Threadless’s move to the West Loop.

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