April 12, 2024

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

TGIF, Retail readers.

🇫🇷 Richard will be at the World Retail Congress in Paris next week. Say bonjour (or better yet, zip him a line to grab a coffee).

1 big thing: LePrix eyes next round

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

LePrix, a B2B wholesale platform for pre-owned luxury items, could seek more financing this quarter to keep pace with growth, CEO Elise Whang tells Kimberly exclusively.

Why it matters: As demand for secondhand shopping continues to increase, retailers need ways to stay relevant to younger customers and keep up with the times.

What's next: "We're at a pivotal moment where we can really step on the gas and take on these opportunities that are before us with larger partnerships that could actually accelerate the growth of our company," Whang says.

  • The company has a steady pipeline of strategic retail partnerships that could close in the next 90 days, Whang says, and this could increase its forecasted gross merchandise volume by 5x.
  • LePrix plans to invest in its IT infrastructure as well, such as data-driven procurement, demand planning, data analytics and more.

How it works: LePrix doesn't hold any inventory.

  • It works with resale partners in a network of secondhand and vintage stores as well as suppliers that want to sell items between each other and in a broader wholesale marketplace.

Zoom out: Globally, the secondhand apparel market is projected to reach $350 billion by 2028, and online resale is forecasted to more than double to $40 billion by that same period, according to ThredUp's latest resale report.

By the numbers: LePrix has transacted more than $100 million in gross merchandise value since 2020.

  • The company said it's been EBITDA positive since last July and has raised $15 million in total funding to date.
  • LePrix reports over 300 U.S. retail customers.

The latest: The company opened its first office in Tokyo this week, which will serve as a launching pad to other markets, like Southeast Asia, Korea and Taiwan, Whang says.

  • "From there, we can unlock that supply chain and allow retailers from anywhere to source on our site," Whang says.
  • The Bethesda, Maryland-based company also has an office in Paris.

The big picture: Luxury e-commerce as a whole has been hit by shifts in consumer spending.

  • Sourcing has also been an issue, as these companies rely on consumers to sell their products, and legacy fashion names pull back on partnerships in a quest for more product control.

2. Retail therapy

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

⚠️ In yet another sign of spreading distress in the world of DTC, sustainable footwear brand Allbirds said it received a delisting warning from the Nasdaq on April 2.

  • The company's share price has traded below $1 for 30 consecutive days and hovered just above 60 cents at Thursday's close.
  • Allbirds has 180 days from the date of the notice to regain compliance.

🤝 NRDC Equity Partners, the private investment firm operated by real estate scion Richard Baker, and BB Kapital said on Wednesday they are acquiring bankrupt German department store business Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof.

  • Baker made his first major foray into retail when NRDC acquired department store chain Lord & Taylor in 2006 from Macy's predecessor Federated Department Stores.
  • It would go on to serve as the foundation for what would become HBC, which today includes Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue, and is currently positioning itself to buy Neiman Marcus.

👀 Meanwhile, investors are angsty over whether Tapestry's acquisition of Capri Holdings (NYSE: CPRI) for $57 per share will even close, WWD reports.

  • Capri's share price was under $41 as of Thursday's close, or about 28% below the offer.
  • Not only is the Federal Trade Commission reviewing the deal, but the financial performance of the target has significantly deteriorated since the deal was announced.

4. Retail transactions

Want more retail deals? Go deeper into our full database in the Axios Pro Deals Tracker.

Venture Capital

Ikas, a Turkish e-commerce platform, raised a $20m Series A round led by IFC. axios.link/3PVVYse

Kamereo, a Vietnamese food supply chain company, raised $2.1m led by Quest Ventures. axios.link/3xxhlK6

Bambrew, an Indian-based maker of sustainable packaging, raised $7.2m in Series A equity and debt funding led by Blume Ventures. axios.link/3TOJ8NM

KIKI, a community commerce startup, raised a $7m seed round co-led by a16z crypto and The Estée Lauder Cos' New Incubation Ventures. axios.link/4cQZ8Yg

Reduced, a Danish producer of food ingredients via fermentation, raised €6m from Novo Holdings, Einar Willumsen, EIFO and Rockstart Agrifood. axios.link/3TXG4iu

Juicer, an SF-based provider of restaurant revenue management and pricing solutions, raised a $5.3m seed round led by York IE. juicerpricing.com

Liberation Labs, a biomanufacturing startup, raised $12.5m led by Agronomics. Siddhi Capital also invested. liberationlabs.com

Private Equity

Esprit (HK: 330), an apparel retailer, is in talks with an unnamed private equity firm about selling a control stake in its troubled European business, per the WSJ. axios.link/3PWo1ru

Jersey Mike's Sub is weighing a sale process that could fetch $8b and has held past takeover talks with Blackstone, per the WSJ. axios.link/3U9OpRt


eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) agreed to buy Goldin, an auction house for high-value trading cards and collectibles, from Collectors, which is valued at over $4b by VC firms, including Chernin Group, Stripes and D1 Capital Partners. axios.link/3JfYLIY

Gen Cap America sold Athens, Tenn.-based discount grocer Bargain Barn to Grocery Outlet (Nasdaq: GO). myugo.com

Encore Consumer Capital sold Banneton Bakery, a Swedesboro, N.J.-based maker of frozen croissants and pastries, to European family-owned food group Vandemoortele. axios.link/3Jcdbdg

Vincent Tan is weighing a take-private offer for Berjaya Food, the listed operator of Starbucks locations in Malaysia, per Bloomberg. axios.link/3vL8uUy

Public Offerings

Ibotta, a Denver-based digital rebates platform, set IPO terms to 5.6m shares at $76-$84. It would have a $2.8b fully diluted market value, were it to price in the middle, and plans to trade on the NYSE (IBTA). axios.link/447vavf

Puig, a family-owned Spanish beauty group whose brands include Charlotte Tilbury and Paco Rabanne, is prepping to raise more than €2.5b via its Madrid IPO. axios.link/4cOWTVd

Seven & i Holdings (Tokyo: 3382), owner of 7-Eleven convenience stores, is preparing to list supermarket unit Ito-Yokado, per Kyodo. axios.link/3PXM3CG

5. It's Personnel

Alex Barsk is leaving her role as global CFO of Pizza Hut to join fast food chain KFC Global as its new CFO effective June 1. https://axios.link/49BwlE9

Lawrence Cohen retired from pet food maker Freshpet's board effective April 8 and is being replaced by Lauri Kotcher, who will also take on Cohen's seat on the board's nominating and governance committee, effective April 9. https://axios.link/3vWCU6j

Bill Wafford, the CFO of Quarate Retail Group, is adding chief administrative officer to his role to assist with the company's turnaround. https://axios.link/3xBfxzR

Jessica Alba, the founder of personal care business The Honest Company (NASDAQ: HNST), is stepping down as chief creative officer. https://axios.link/4aOPOlD

Nir Patel has left his role as COO of gaming retailer GameStop and won't be replaced. His duties will be spread among existing executives. https://axios.link/43U11iA

Frances Allen is leaving her role as CEO of fast food operator Checkers & Rally's to focus on board work, Restaurant Dive reports. https://axios.link/4cV2jOp

👀 What we're watching: Richard started streaming the television series "Fallout," based on a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game on Amazon Prime.

✏️ Many thanks to editor George Moriarty and copy editor Mickey Meece for today's edits.

🙏 Thank you for reading Retail Deals. See you again next week.