Lord & Taylor, Stein Mart , Pier 1 Imports and Motherhood Maternity don’t have physical stores in their future, but their new owners are betting they can unlock value from these well-known brands by recasting them as e-commerce players.
A handful of brand-acquisition and licensing companies are hoping the growth in online shopping that helped drive a record number of retailers into bankruptcy this year will also play a role in resurrecting these repackaged brands into online-only businesses.
Investors such as Marquee Brands LLC, which is backed by investment manager Neuberger Berman Group LLC, and Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC, the Miami-based brainchild of two serial entrepreneurs, have acquired control of several familiar retail names.
After paying to acquire the intellectual-property rights of the brands, these investors are using a combination of social-media savvy, targeted-brand promotion and direct-to-consumer marketing to reach shoppers.
For the relaunched brands, the months during the pandemic when Americans shopped mostly online offered a unique opportunity to expand the brands’ reach. Online retail sales, including curbside pickups, are projected to jump 50% this year, according to analytics provider 1010data.