With needlecraft catalog The Stitchery, home decor book Expressions, and jewelry and gifts titles The Pyramid Collection and Nature’s Jewelry among its catalogs, Potpourri Group has a house file made up largely of women. So it’s not surprising that the Chelmsford, MA-based mailer decided a toys catalog would fit well with its other properties. On March 30, Potpourri acquired Young Explorers, a Loveland, CO-based catalog of toys and gifts for children ages 4-10. Young Explorers, which was represented by New York-based investment bank Gruppo, Levey & Co. in the deal, is the seventh catalog purchased by the $150 million Potpourri during the past five years.
“This acquisition enables us to enter the fastest-growing segment of the toy business and complements our offering of other gift titles,” says Potpourri chairman Jack Rosenfeld. “Our plans call to double the size of [Young Explorers’] sales and profits.”
In addition to using Potpourri’s economies of scale to reduce Young Explorers’ costs, “we can prospect deeper, since the break-evens are lower,” Rosenfeld says. He intends to increase the catalog’s prospecting efforts, though he won’t specify by how much.
Young Explorers has a house file of nearly 423,000 names. Potpourri’s 12-month buyer file consists of more than 2 million names. Last fall, Young Explorers spun off Googles & Gizmos, a 56-page catalog that mailed to 1 million customers and prospects. The core Young Explorers book is typically produced once a year, dropping from July through December with cover changes. George McMahon, the former president of Young Explorers, will be a consultant to Potpourri and assist in producing the fall edition.
Rosenfeld says that the deal was made possible in part by the expansion of Potpourri’s distribution center. By the end of April, its facility in Whitinsville, MA, will have doubled in size, to 200,000 sq. ft. “We had been holding off on acquisitions for six to nine months due to a capacity issue in our warehouse,” he says.