Rugs Direct announces capital infusion
Online retailer Rugs Direct has announced that it has received an investment from a private equity firm.
The investment of an undisclosed size will help fuel growth, according to the Winchester, Virginia-based retailer. “L2 Capital is a terrific partner for Rugs Direct due to their in- house operational and e-commerce expertise, as well as their external consumer product and direct-to- consumer marketing resources,” said David Craig, co-owner of Rugs Direct.
“This partnership places Rugs Direct in an outstanding position for growth and continued leadership in the home-décor market,” said Randy Kremer, Rugs Direct’s other co-owner. “We’ve learned a lot and have been very successful in our first 20 years of e-commerce. In partnership with L2, the sky’s the limit.”
The Winchester, Virginia-based retailer lays claim to the distinction of being the county’s leading online retailer of area rugs, throw rugs and rug runners. Founded in 1997, Rugs Direct offers some 180,000 different SKUs and receives over 46 million page views annually by consumers, home decorators and professional interior designers, the company said.
Bob Levine, managing partner of Devon, Pennsylvania-based L2 Capital, said, “We are very excited to be able to support such a successful company and group of managers. Together, with the assistance of the world-class board of directors we’ve assembled, we’re optimistic we’ll be able to build upon the company’s current growth trajectory.”
L2 Capital Partners specializes in making controlling or minority investments in business service, consumer product and manufacturing companies with enterprise values up to $60 million.
Retail sales slip in March
U.S. retail and food services sales lagged behind February's numbers last month, bringing the LBM category down with it (though still with above-average performance).
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $470.8 billion. That's down 0.2% from February, but 5.2% above March 2016.
Retail trade sales also fell 0.2% for the month, though they were up 5.5% year-over-year.
For building material and garden equipment & supplies dealers, adjusted retail sales for March came in at $31.1 billion, down 1.5% from February and up 6.3% from last March.
Electronics & appliance stores saw the biggest improvement over last month, jumping 2.6%, even though they were down 0.7% from last year.
Gasoline stations fared the best over the year, increasing 14.3%, followed by nonstore retailers, which improved 11.9%.
Product Central: Fontana Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven
There’s a big wide world encompassing the spectrum between impulse buys and big-ticket products, but it’s fair to say that the SKUs with the highest price points get the credit whenever big-box retailers like Home Depot pull through with impressive quarterly numbers.
Having said that, even the smaller independents are getting some help from their co-ops: Orgill, for example, is rolling out on-demand custom POP signage for big-ticket categories like grills, where smaller dealers can compete with the big boxes.
Though dealers are generally more keen to lean into their most obvious strengths — often by prioritizing customer service over anything else — ticket size is worth considering.
Here is a product featured in a recent issue of HBSDealer:
Fontana Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven
It’s no secret that homeowners are big on outdoor kitchens — and taking more of their meal preparation to their patios. A wood-fired pizza oven is a desirable commodity (and a boon for home equity). These ovens are distributed throughout North America but designed and constructed in Italy using 3mm of continuous-weld stainless steel. $2,599
Check out other big-ticket items featured in the April 2017 issue of HBSDealer. (Prices listed are approximate.)