BRYLANE IPO FILING REVEALS PLANS FOR ADDING CATALOGS
NEW YORK — Brylane LP, the catalog retailer spun off from the Limited Inc. in 1993, expects to increase its bottom line through the introduction of new catalogs and merchandise, as well as by developing its newly acquired Chadwick’s of Boston business.
In line with an aggressive growth agenda, Brylane plans to sell 4 million shares, or about 30.5 percent of its equity, at $24 to $26 a share in an initial public offering.
According to the prospectus filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission, proceeds from the offering are estimated at about $92 million and will be used to prepay borrowings.
Brylane was established in 1993 as a joint venture between certain affiliates of Freeman, Spogli & Co. and The Limited. After the offering, Freeman will retain a 43.5 percent stake in Brylane and Limited will hold 25.7 percent. Underwriters have an option to purchase an additional 600,000 shares.
After the offering, Brylane will have 19,471,445 shares outstanding.
In the latest 12 months, Brylane had sales of $1.1 billion.
Through its Lane Bryant and Roaman’s catalogs, Brylane sells women’s special size apparel, sizes 14 to 56. Brylane’s KingSize catalog offers men’s big and tall size apparel. Its Lerner catalog targets younger customers with slightly more fashion-forward styles in sizes ranging from 4 to 18. The catalogs are considered moderate or value-priced.
Brylane in December 1996 acquired Chadwick’s of Boston, the largest off-price women’s catalog company, from TJX Cos.
Brylane believes that it will benefit from the acquisition by sharing customer lists, combining merchandising and marketing expertise and introducing new merchandise categories as well as private label credit cards to Chadwick’s customers.
Brylane is also developing new catalog concepts. It launched the Sue Brett catalog in spring 1995 to serve the regular size mature women’s apparel market. In May 1996, Chadwick’s successfully tested its Bridgewater catalog, which offers a broad assortment of regular size women’s and men’s classic apparel.
Brylane is also testing a regular size men’s apparel catalog.
Based on a strong response to special size apparel offerings tested in its existing catalog, Chadwick’s intends to create a stand-alone special size catalog this year. In addition, it will introduce a private label credit card to Chadwick’s customers.
Brylane has already expanded its customer base by marketing some of its catalogs under the Sears name to Sears customers under an exclusive licensing arrangement with Sears Shop at Home Services Inc.
For the longer term, the company said it may also pursue strategic acquisitions that either expand or complement its existing businesses.
According to Brylane, catalog sales have been the fastest-growing channel of apparel sales. From 1994 to 1995, catalog women’s apparel sales moved up 6.1 percent to $7.6 billion, while overall retail women’s apparel sales increased only by about 1 percent to $81 billion.
The percentage of the U.S. adult population that made a purchase through a catalog has grown to 52 percent in 1995 from 41 percent in 1993. The fiorm believes catalog sales of apparel will continue to rise because they offer consumers convenience and save them time.