Why it matters to you
Greycork had ambitious plans to compete with furniture giants like Ikea. Now, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that it’s easier said than done.
There are lots of ways to outfit your unfurnished apartment. You could scour Craigslist looking for deals on used futons and entertainment centers. You could make the trip to your local Ikea and stock up on assemble-it-yourself bookshelves made of wood and particleboard. Or you could just order a whole room set on the Internet. Well, you could have, but now that last option doesn’t look so feasible anymore. At least, not through Greycork. New reports suggest that the company has begun winding down its operations.
First launched in 2015, Greycork was an ambitious startup that emerged from an Indiegogo campaign. If offered kits that came complete with sofas, tables, and bookshelves made out of wood. And cushions, of course, which are made of foam and polyester fiber.
Co-founder and CEO John Humphrey, after making his own attempt at producing a table, reached out to Bruce Kim and Alec Babala, who both attended the Rhode Island School of Design and became co-founders of Greycork with Humphrey. The group wanted to make wood furniture that was easy to assemble to and disassemble, without sacrificing style or durability.
Greycork envisioned itself competing directly with Ikea. Its sofa cost $450 and takes four minutes to assemble, while Ikea’s Kivik sofa costs $600 and takes an hour to put together, according to Greycork’s Indiegogo site. Each piece of furniture came with minimal parts and assembly required no tools, since you put it together with thumb nuts and washers.
But apparently, competing with Ikea is easier said than done. As a tipster told Curbed,
“I ordered products from Greycork a few weeks ago. Today, I received an email saying my order was canceled and that I was issued a full refund. I inquired why, and received a message from the co-founder that Greycork is ‘discontinuing all products and winding down operations.’ Interestingly, I visited their website, which just launched a complete visual refresh.”
Updated on 3-15-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news that Greycork is winding down its operations.