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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On May 28, 2015, it was reported, Sleep Country Canada may be looking to return to the equity markets through an initial public offering, according to a report from Bloomberg News. Sleep Country Canada has been this country's only national and largest mattress retail specialist for almost two decades and first went public as an income trust. Its trust unit issue price of $10 more than doubled within 24 months, making it darling of Bay Street, Canada's answer to Wall Street. SCC was taken over in 2008 by Birch Hill Equity Partners Management and Westerkirk Capital, Toronto-based investment firms, for $356 million. It was subsequently taken private and delisted from the exchange. Bloomberg's report didn't cite its sources, saying they asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The news service said its sources report the plan is to raise at least C$100 million in a Canadian IPO. The company, which earlier this month expanded its reach into New Brunswick, opening three stores, now operates some 170 stores across Canada. It was founded in Vancouver in 1994 by Stephen Gunn, Christine Magee and Gord Lownds. Its jingle "Why buy a mattress anywhere else?" is familiar to almost every Canadian. Gunn and Magee are still active in the company, Gunn as chairman and Magee as president and the company's public face in radio and television commercials. In 2007, its last full year as an income trust, Sleep Country reported sales of C$357.2 million with net earnings of C$28.9 million or C$2.06 per trust unit. It was the company's fourth consecutive year of growth in both sales and profits. SCC also owns and operates Dormez-Vous, a sleep retail specialist with some 48 stores in Quebec.
    • On May 27, 2015, Tommy Hilfiger announced a licensing agreement with LF Products, a division of global consumer products sourcing company Li & Fung, to produce its first line of indoor residential furniture. Set to hit key department stores, specialty stores and e-commerce platforms in the U.S. and Latin America this fall, the line will include two collections of case goods, occasional and upholstery.
    • On May 26, 2015, it was reported, specialty teen retailer Hot Topic is acquiring Geeknet, parent company of online retailers ThinkGeek and ThinkGeek Solutions, for approximately $122 million, which is more than double the company's market value. ThinkGeek sells a wide range of merchandise, including clothing, toys, and gadgets mostly based on popular movies, television shows and brands that have strong "geek" appeal, such as "Star Trek," ''The Big Bang Theory," and ''Star Wars." ThinkGeek Solutions distributes video game-themed merchandise through licensed Web stores for the gaming community.
    • On May 22, 2015, it was reported, a fire caused major damage to the Blake Furniture warehouse and its inventory, according to local news sources the Longview News-Journal and KLTV.com. Blake Furniture is a family-owned retailer of furniture, electronics and appliances and has nine locations in and around Longview, according to the Longview News-Journal. The damaged warehouse serves these locations. The paper reported that the fire broke out around 11 a.m. and was brought under control around 4 p.m. as five local departments were called in. There were no injuries reported and officials were still looking into the cause of the fire as of late Thursday. The fire was contained to the interior. Fire crews brought in a crane to tear down walls to fight the flames inside.