Dick Blick Holdings Buys The Art Store

Chicago-based Dick Blick Holdings, which mails the Dick Blick Art Supplies catalog as well as home and garden title Alsto’s, purchased $40 million retailer The Art Store out of bankruptcy. Dick Blick Holdings paid $11 million in a “stalking horse” auction.

“The deal helps strengthen our multichannel business,” says Robert Buchsbaum, Dick Blick Holdings CEO. “Right now we’re more concerned with integrating the stores into our business from a systems and inventory standpoint.”

A competitor of Dick Blick’s 24 stores, The Art Store operates stores in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington DC. Many of the stores are in areas where Dick Blick does not have a retail presence.

The Art Store experienced financial difficulties last year when some of its expansion stores, for which it had borrowed heavily, failed to work out as planned. In May 2004, The Art Store hired Cleveland-based Brown Gibbons Lang & Company to facilitate a sale.

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