Equestrian products marketer Dover Saddlery is on a full gallop toward retail expansion. The Littleton, MA-based merchant and Chantilly, VA-based equestrian products retailer Dominion Saddlery have signed a nonbinding agreement for Dover to acquire Dominion’s four stores in Maryland and Virginia. The deal is scheduled to be completed by June 15.
Founded in 1975 in Wellesley, MA, Dover Saddlery sells brand-name products for equestrian riders, both English and Western. President/CEO Stephen L. Day says that the potential acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to expand its retail presence. “We took the company public last November to get the retail rollout started,” he says. “And since then we have identified 50 store sites across the country for that purpose.”
Currently, retail accounts for only about 15% of Dover Saddlery’s $63 million in annual sales. The company operates stores in Wellesley, MA, Hockessin, DE, Plaistow, NH, and Denton, TX (operated as a Smith Brothers store under the Dover Umbrella). “Smith Brothers was a western catalog servicing western horseman since the late 1980s,” Day says. “We acquired the catalog in 2002, and opened a Smith Brothers store in 2004.”
The majority of sales come from its catalog, launched in 1982, and its Website. Dover spokesperson Janet Nittman won’t divulge the percentage split between Web and catalog sales, but she says that the online business has grown significantly of late.