Tuesday, August 14th 2018

CaseLabs Withers Away After Losing PR Battle to Thermaltake

Premium aluminium case maker CaseLabs made a splash in 2015 when it accused Thermaltake of stealing many of its case designs to make "cheap Asian knock-offs." When faced with the prospect of a legal challenge by the much larger Thermaltake, CaseLabs this July withdrew its comments and publicly apologized to Thermaltake for it. Things didn't look up for the company after that. A deadly cocktail of the US-China trade-war, and the default of a large commercial loan account hit the company "at the worst possible time," it said in a statement. Failure to secure additional capital to stay afloat was the last straw.

Apparently, the import tariffs on a wide range of products manufactured in China raised prices for CaseLabs by "almost 80 percent," which cut deeply into the company's margins. The company has since stopped accepting orders, thanked its over 20,000 customers, and promised to fulfill as many of the pending orders as possible, while cautioning that it won't be able to fulfill all of them.

The full CaseLabs statement follows.

We are very sad to announce that CaseLabs and its parent company will be closing permanently. We have been forced into bankruptcy and liquidation. The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins. The default of a large account added greatly to the problem. It hit us at the worst possible time. We reached out for a possible deal that would allow us to continue on and persevere through these difficult times, but in the end, it didn't happen.

We are doing our best to ship as many orders as we can, but we won't be able to ship them all. Parts orders should all ship, but we won't be able to fulfill the full backlog of case orders. We are so incredibly sorry this is happening. Our user community has been very devoted to us and it's awful to think that we have let any of you down. There are over 20,000 of you out there and we are very grateful for all the support we have received over the years. It was a great journey that we took together and we're thankful that we got that chance.

We understand that there will likely be a great deal of understandable anger over this and we sincerely apologize. We looked at every option we had. This is certainly not what we envisioned. Some things were just out of our control. We thought we had a way to move forward, but it failed and we disabled the website from taking any more orders.

It was a privilege to serve you and we are so very sorry things turned out this way.
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16 Comments on CaseLabs Withers Away After Losing PR Battle to Thermaltake

#1
DeathtoGnomes
Apparently, the import tariffs on a wide range of products manufactured in China raised prices for CaseLabs by "almost 80 percent,"
I still laugh at this.
Posted on Reply
#2
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
DeathtoGnomes, post: 3885353, member: 151150"
I still laugh at this.
Exactly. Too proud to put it all on themselves and their poor ability to be successful at a business. Their margins were so slim that one default did them under. They tried to do too much with too little in a niche business. But hey, it sounds trendy to blame tarrifs too that hadn’t even been effected yet, and thus had not affected them.

For background and responsible multipage discussion, go here before coming back:
https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/case-labs-closing-doors.246682/post-3884002
Posted on Reply
#3
Vayra86
Seems they lost their case :rolleyes:
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#5
Th3pwn3r
This really sucks for those with pending orders.
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#6
Indurain
CaseLabs built their stuff in the US and I am sure the tariffs they are speaking about are Canadian Steel and Aluminum, not tariffs on Chinese products.

Better fact checking would have caught this. no assuming.
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#7
Chloe Price
Well, Thermalfake HAS been a copycat many times.
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#8
thebluebumblebee
They only had 20,000 customers, and I would think that most of them were one and done. How can you run a business with so little business? Making a great product does not guarantee business success.
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#9
DeathtoGnomes
thebluebumblebee, post: 3885520, member: 55599"
They only had 20,000 customers, and I would think that most of them were one and done. How can you run a business with so little business? Making a great product does not guarantee business success.
its not like a PC case breaks down from normal usage, normal usage being that it just sits there looking pretty.
Posted on Reply
#10
Chloe Price
DeathtoGnomes, post: 3885526, member: 151150"
its not like a PC case breaks down from normal usage, normal usage being that it just sits there looking pretty.
Agree. The only maintenance a PC case needs is just cleaning. Sometimes a button or USB connector may break, but not often.
Posted on Reply
#11
neko77025
I bought A Mercury M8 when it came out. And to tell the truth 100% regret it. At the time I went all out on my Comp was first new everything build in years. Main reason was SSI EEB and that Motherboard was Horizontal ( Muilt-GPU ) / Sag.


Main issues with the case.

1 Paint chips so freakn easy . ... you can sneeze near it and you will crack the paint .
2 Very over priced .. but i still did it
3 Dust ... their are no filters and their were no filters @ the time that were for it .. had to use these crappy 120 / 140 filters that were a pain in the ass.


Truth is I wish would of stuck with Lian li
Posted on Reply
#13
Dr_b_
From a business perspective, caselabs complaining about tariffs, and on the other hand, lambasted Thermaltake for building cheap knock offs (which arguably were lifted from caselabs design ethos but only a select product range but also had features that Caselabs lacked). Strange. So what's the problem, you can't compete due to cheap products from China, or tariffs which would increase costs of said cheap knockoffs are bad, or both?

Own 2 Caselabs cases, one horizontal mount, the other normal. The cases are roomy for liquid cooling, but there was just zero innovation over the years. For example, there were no USB 3.1 or type C connectors available for previously released cases, hard drive mounting system was old design and didnt use sleds - had to bolt screw mounts on, panel mounting could have evolved with inset holders, tempered glass...etc, they just weren't keeping up with design trends, and some of which were actually nice, not just bling RGB. Bottom line is there could have been so much done to keep current and diversify the business. Also, they could have made more realistically priced cases that appealed to more users out of traditional steel.

One poster mentioned issues with paint, never experienced a problem with the paint job, would have liked to seen a non-painted clean aluminum version. The filter issue is real, dmciflex makes filters for Caselabs and others so that really isnt an issue, but it wasnt included with the already expensive case.
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#14
GlacierXD
Obvious excuse. It was their poor management and questionable pricing strategy that caused the company to bankruptcy, not this Bull**** "rising price of aluminum".
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#15
MonsterMawd
CL's Rep should have continued to answer customer inquiries and updating everyone on OCN. It's never a good sign when a manufacturer goes into hiding. It may have also helped as reference source of facts for the some of news stories.
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#16
LPide
It's sad to see them go, they had some good ideas, but it came down to having a business model that works.
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