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Sycamore Partners to acquire Hot Topic for $600 million

BY Marianne Wilson

City of Industry, Calif. — Hot Topic announced it has agreed to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $14.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $600 million.

The agreement, unanimously approved by Hot Topic’s board of directors, represents a premium of approximately 30% over Hot Topic’s closing stock price on March 6, 2013.

“We are pleased that this transaction will allow us to deliver positive results for our shareholders," said Hot Topic CEO Lisa Harper. "In addition, we are very excited about the future growth for the company and know that Sycamore Partners will provide great resources and expertise to us as we operate as a private company.”

As of February 2, 2013, Hot Topic operated 618 namesake stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada; 190 Torrid stores; and five Blackheart stores.

Sycamore Partners acquired Talbot’s in 2012.

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Brooks Brothers taps Demandware to power digital commerce initiatives

BY Staff Writer

Burlington, Mass. — Demandware, a leading provider of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, announced that Brooks Brothers launched a new e-commerce site on the Demandware Commerce platform.

Brooks Brothers is leveraging Demandware as the digital foundation to extend the service, quality and timeless style the iconic retailer has been delivering for nearly 200 years to digital channels. A critical component of Brooks Brothers’ omni-channel strategy, the new site will be tightly integrated into new merchandising and store systems. The company also plans to use Demandware for international expansion.

Brooks Brothers selected Demandware because it enables the company to execute its digital commerce strategies with speed and agility. In addition, Demandware’s cloud model provides operational efficiencies and better economics for Brooks Brothers’ complex environment that includes many different and evolving product categories, a proliferation of customer data and intelligence, and an ever-increasing amount of content to help consumers research and purchase products. With Demandware, Brooks Brothers is able to effectively manage multiple sites across geographies and channels.

Over the past two centuries, many things have changed, but Brooks Brothers’ commitment to innovation and a superior brand experience has not wavered,” said Ken Seiff, EVP, direct and omni-channel at Brooks Brothers. “We want to serve our customers in the most exceptional ways regardless of which channel they choose to engage with us. This means knowing their preferences and providing a personalized shopping experience at all times.”

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S.Hance says:
Mar-12-2013 04:00 am

Digital Technology is now growing. It could improve efficiency and effectiveness. - Peter F. Spittler

S.Hance says:
Mar-12-2013 04:00 am

Digital Technology is now growing. It could improve efficiency and effectiveness. - Peter F. Spittler

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Refund delays, weather dampen comps at TJX, Ross

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. and PLEASANTON, Calif. — The TJX Companies and Ross Stores reported comparable-store results that were less than impressive from what the two discount retailers usually deliver.

TJX reported that sales for the four-week period ended March 2, were $1.8 billion, up 7% over the $1.6 billion achieved during the four-week period ended Feb. 25, 2012. Consolidated comparable-store sales for the month were up 1%.

Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of The TJX Companies, Inc., stated, “Business trends picked up at the very end of the month, leading to our February comp store sales coming in higher than expected at a 1% increase. Winter storms in many U.S. and Canadian regions kept customers at home, but we were pleased to see our momentum continue in warmer weather markets. Further, our home businesses, which are less weather sensitive, were strong across the board. We are also happy with the continued strength of our European businesses. As we move through the spring selling season, we are in an excellent position to continue shipping great brands and fresh fashions to our stores at extreme values.”

Ross Stores reported that sales increased 3% to $726 million for the four weeks ended March 2, up from $707 million for the four weeks ended March 3, 2012. Comparable-store sales for the four weeks ended March 2 declined 1% versus the same period last year. This compared with a strong 9% gain for the four weeks ended February 25, 2012.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, commented, "We believe the slight decline in February same store sales was mainly due to the delay in income tax refunds. With sales improving as the month progressed, we continue to forecast same store sales in March and April to be down 1% to 2% and up 5% to 6%, respectively. This monthly guidance reflects the shift in the Easter holiday and is on top of last year’s robust same store sales gains of 10% in March and 7% in April."

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