By  on June 17, 2008

NEW YORK — Casual Male Retail Group will announce this morning that it has acquired Dahle’s Big & Tall, a 15-unit independent retailer based in Salt Lake City.

The 45-year-old, family-owned business bills itself as the largest independent retailer of B&T merchandise in the U.S.

David Levin, CEO of Casual Male, said he will retain seven or eight of the company’s stores and convert them to Casual Male XL units by the holiday season. The remaining units will be shuttered.

The acquisition brings Casual Male into three new states: Utah, Montana and Idaho. The stores that will be closed are in markets where Casual Male currently operates and Levin expects the departure of a strong competitor to help boost Casual Male’s business in those states.

Levin said Casual Male will also take over Dahle’s Internet business.

With the acquisition, Levin said Casual Male will increase it market share in the B&T industry even further. “The next largest player has five stores,” he said. “This puts us into an even more dominating position so it’s a good deal.”

Levin said the store employees at the units it plans to convert will be retained, but Dahle’s management will be departing after the sale is completed. “But they own the real estate so they’re going to be our landlord,” he said.

Casual Male’s other major acquisition came in October of 2004 when it bought Rochester Big & Tall. Regarding future acquisitions, Levin said that although there’s nothing imminent, “we’re always looking for opportunities that make sense. What’s nice about this is that we will move into three areas where we didn’t have stores. Our strategy is to continue to gain market share.”

Casual Male operates over 500 stores throughout the U.S., Canada and London.

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