FINANCE

Made-to-measure menswear brand Indochino has new investor and strategic partner

BY Marianne Wilson

Indochino has a new investor.

The digitally-native brand, which has been expanding in brick-and-mortar, has received a “strategic investment” from Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.). The investment and strategic collaboration will be used to help the retailer accelerate its North American expansion plans and investment in its global operations and supply chain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Indochino is coming off a successful 2017 during which it grew revenue more than 50% (for a second consecutive year), achieved full year EBITDA profitability and expanded from 10 to 20 showrooms. It plans to open up to 18 locations in 2018.

“Mitsui’s global footprint and its expertise scaling and operating international businesses will be invaluable as we prepare for the next phase of growth and scale as a global apparel brand,” said Indochino CEO Drew Green.

Mitsui is the third global corporation to forge a strategic investment in Indochino in the last several years. Its new shareholders include Dayang Group, the world’s largest suit manufacturer, and Postmedia, Postmedia Indochino Chain store age one of Canada’s largest media companies.

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Urban Outfitters’ Q4 sales up 5.7%

BY Marianne Wilson

The direct-to-consumer channel helped fuel Urban Outfitter in its fourth quarter.

Total company sales rose 5.7% to $1.09 billion in the quarter ended January 31, from $1.03 billion. Same-store sales in the retail segment increased 4%, driven by double-digit growth in the direct-to-consumer channel and stronger apparel sales in January.

By brand, same-store sales rose 8% at Free People. 5% at Anthropologie and 2% Urban Outfitters grew 2%.

For the year ended Jan. 31, total company net sales increased 2% to $3.6 billion. Same-store sales in the retail segment were flat. Wholesale segment net sales increased 9.5%.

Urban Outfitters opened 18 locations in its recently completed year, including eight Free People stores, five Urban Outfitters stores, four Anthropologie Group stores and one restaurant. It ended the year with 245 Urban Outfitters stores in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and websites; 226 Anthropologie Group stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe, catalogs and websites; 132 Free People stores in the U.S. and Canada, catalogs and websites and 10 restaurants.

Urban Outfitters is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings on March 6.

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HanesBrands to acquire Australian retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

HanesBrands is expanding its portfolio.

Hanes has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bras N Things, a retailer and online seller of intimate apparel in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $400 million.

In addition to its online channel, the company operates 154 stores in Australia, 10 stores in New Zealand and seven stores in South Africa. In 2017, the company had net sales of approximately $144 million.

In a statement, Hanes CEO Gerald W. Evans Jr. said that Bras N Things offered a natural complement to Hanes’ successful Bonds underwear business in Australia and New Zealand.”

“Bras N Things has a great business model that appeals to millennial consumers featuring core products supplemented by seasonal product offerings,” Evans said. “This consumer-direct sales model has significant potential for expansion into other geographic markets.”

With the acquisition, Hanes’ combined Australian commercial businesses would hold the No. 1 market position in bras and the No. 1 market position in panties in Australia, as well as the No. 1 market position for underwear, socks and babywear.

The acquisition is expected to close in mid-February.

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