OPERATIONS

Sur La Table acquired by Investcorp

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Sur La Table has been acquired by Investcorp, a global asset management firm. The Seattle-based retailer, which specializes in kitchen goods, operates 86 stores nationwide.

Investcorp acquired Sur La Table from the Behnke family and investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co., who will both remain as investors in the kitchen goods retailer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. No management changes are expected.

"We believe that Sur La Table is well positioned in its existing markets and has multiple opportunities for growth including new store expansion and e-commerce." said Kevin Nickelberry, a managing director at Investcorp, which is based in Bahrain.

Industry experts speculated that the new owners would drive expansion. Sur La Table is on track to open nine stores this year, including its third location in Manhattan. The store will be the first of Sur La Table’s Big Apple units to offer the retailer’s signature cooking class program.

"Private-equity firms typically only buy retailers that they know they can grow, and this is definitely a chain that can grow," said Jeff Green, a Phoenix-based retail consultant, in The Seattle Times. "I’m sure you’ll see its expansion continue, and maybe even increase."

Investcorp’s past investments include luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co.

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News

Report: Facebook to launch new social commerce button

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Facebook will announce that it is adding a “Want” button to its wall during its developers conference later this week, according to techcrunch.com.

The launch of the new social commerce button will be accompanied by the addition of several other buttons, including “Read,” “Listened” or “Watched” various pieces of content.

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REAL ESTATE

Casual Male to open 12 DXL stores in 2011, 20 to 30 in 2012

BY Marianne Wilson

Canton, Mass. — Casual Male Retail Group has opened its eighth DestinationXL (DXL) location to date, in Westport, Conn. DXL is Casual Male’s new superstore format, housing Casual Male’s four existing apparel businesses: Casual Male XL, Rochester Big & Tall, Shoes XL and B&T Direct.

The company plans to open up to 12 DXL stores during the balance of 2011, another 20-30 stores during 2012 and approximately 100 stores over a four to five year period.

Also, the retailer will soon launch a DXL website, with a multichannel solution similar to the DXL store experience, catering to the many fashionable needs of today’s big & tall man.

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