Recode: Alibaba founders invest $20 million in U.S. retailer
Rent the Runway is flush with a new investment.
Blue Pool Capital, a financial firm that principally invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, has invested $20 million in the women’s fashion rental business Rent the Runway, Recode reported. The company was founded in 2009 as an online site where women could rent designer dresses for special occasions. It has since expanded its merchandise assortment to include more casual and workwear offerings. It also has added brick-and-mortar locations.
With the new funds, Rent the Runway is valued at a little less than $800 million, the report said.
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Tween/teen accessories retailer reportedly close to filing Chapter 11
The chain where countless young girls had their ears pierced is said to be on the edge of filing for bankruptcy.
Clarie’s Stores, burdened with a $2 billion debt load that goes back to its 2007 leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management, is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported. Its load is more than 10 times a key measure of its annual earnings.
As part of a Chapter 11 agreement, control of Claire’s would pass from Apollo to lenders such as Elliott Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital, the report said.
In addition to its heavy debt, Claire’s, which operates some 3,000 stores around the world, has been impacted by the slowdown in mall traffic. The retailer has been expanding to new areas, including signing agreements to sell its goods at CVS and Giant Eagle.
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Neiman Marcus returns to profitability in Q2
Neiman Marcus Group reported its second consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth as the company’s recent investments in new technologies and marketing tools and digital emphasis appear to be paying off.
The company reported net earnings of $346.3 million for its second quarter, ended Jan. 27, compared to a net loss of $140.6 million in the year-ago period. Including a provisional non-cash income tax benefit of approximately $384.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 and non-cash impairment charges of $153.8 million in 2017, total revenues in the quarter rose 6.2% to $1.48 billion. Same-store sales increased 6.7%.
“I am excited about our momentum, which underscores Neiman Marcus Group is truly unique within our industry for our ability to deliver on a personalized luxury shopping experience across channels and brands,” commented Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO, Neiman Marcus Group. “We will continue to innovate and invest in the business to envision new ways to serve the luxury customers of today and tomorrow.”
van Raemdonck took the reins of Neiman Marcus in February, succeeding Karen Katz, who retired after holding the top job for some 10 years. Prior to Neiman Marcus, served as group president for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and global travel retail at Ralph Lauren.