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PC chassis maker CaseLabs goes bust and blames it on the US-China trade war

CaseLabs has announced it is filing for bankruptcy and going into liquidation. The custom PC case and accessory company puts the majority of the blame on US trade tariffs, which it states “cut deeply into our margins” at a very inopportune time. But some of the blame also lies in growing debt that the company was unable to pay off.

CaseLabs is well-known for its industrial style cases available in various loadouts. These modular aluminium cases were also pretty pricey. Cases range in price from a couple hundred dollars to just shy of $1000 with all the extras. The flagship case, the Mercury S8, started out life at around $440.

The company is attempting to fulfill as many outstanding orders as it possible can before it’s all over, however, it looks unlikely that it will be able to get out every order still open. Part orders will supposedly be done and dusted before the shutters come down, but case customers won’t be so lucky. While the website is still online for the time being, it is no longer accepting any orders.

Customers with outstanding orders might be out of luck when it comes to getting there money back, too. Unfortunately for the consumer, any money left in a company’s assets or accounts when declaring bankruptcy is used to pay off outstanding creditors, and the general consumer can be pretty low on the food chain to get their money back – even potentially being struck from the list entirely.

CaseLabs Merlin two-tone PC case

At least recent customers who paid using a credit card may be covered for purchases falling through like this, but that all depends on the bank, lender, etc. If this in any way applies to you, you best get moving fast.

CaseLabs were reportedly struggling with increased costs due to the trade tariffs, which are the result of an ongoing, and escalating, trade war between the US and China. Raw materials, especially the likes of aluminium and steel, have been subject to tariffs ranging from 10% to 25% respectively as a result.

Similar US/China tariffs on electronic components were announced nearly a month ago, too. However, in CaseLabs case (no pun intended), it was also a default on a large account that also aided in closing doors prematurely for the PC chassis company.

CaseLabs Magnum PC case

“The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins”, CaseLabs says in a statement on its now defunct online store. “The default of a large account added greatly to the problem. It hit us at the worst possible time.”

CaseLabs is a subsidiary of the California Fabrication Company, which fabricates metal for various business and sectors out of California (surprising, I know). Despite attempting to strike a deal that would result in keeping the lights on for a little longer, both companies have had to declare bankruptcy due to struggling financials.

PCGN

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