NEW YORK —, a business-to-business auction site servicing the $100 billion market of excess fashion inventories, has acquired R & R Imports, which has focused on distributing the surplus inventories of apparel firms for the past seven years.
Steven R. Lubinski, chief executive officer of CloseOutNow, said in a statement, “Acquiring R&R Imports and retaining its top management brings great value to [us]. It will play an integral role as a liaison between retailers, manufacturers and the site.”
Richard Cole and Richard Vieira, founders of R&R Imports, are managing directors of sales and merchandising for CloseOutNow. Cole, a former chairman and ceo of the M.I. unit of Manhattan Industries, will focus on developing CloseOutNow’s relations with retailers and manufacturers, while Vieira will concentrate on merchandising the site.
“Business-to-business on the Internet is the future of the fashion industry,” Vieira projected. “It will eventually overtake the demand for bricks-and-mortar middlemen like R&R Imports. We feel this is a great opportunity to get involved on the front end, lend our expertise and help to shape the nature of e-commerce in the fashion market — rather than wait to be replaced by it in a few years.” facilitates matching buyers and sellers of surplus branded and non-branded fashion items through auctions. Replacing the traditional jobbers, by putting manufacturers and wholesalers in direct contact with retailers, aims to fatten the razor-thin profit margin on surplus fashion goods.