Heirs Put Tog Shop, A.B. Lambdin Up for Sale

The heirs of Tog Shop founder Emory Rylander, who started the catalog in 1950, have put the family business up for sale. And according to Carl Tott, president of the Americus, GA-based cataloger/retailer, a party is already working on an agreement to acquire the Tog Shop catalog. In addition to the eponymous women’s apparel catalog and five stores in Georgia, the $50 million company operates the A.B. Lambdin catalog, which specializes in women’s swimwear and resortwear.

A.B. Lambdin has estimated sales of $15 million. The Tog Shop stores are used primarily for overstocks and liquidation.

The business includes a 185,000-sq.-ft. distribution center and call center in Americas, GA, which sits on 23 acres. A 25,000-sq.-ft. building is also used for bulk storage.

Tott says that the Rylander family wants to cash out of the business and is no longer willing to continue investing in its growth. For instance, though the marketer is currently mailing to “millions of prospects,” he says, it has cut back that number by half during the past five years. Tott says further investment is also needed for developing a direct import program as well as for bolstering its online operations. Currently only 8% of the company’s sales are derived from the Website.

Tott believes that the distribution center, which employs 115 full-time staff, is perhaps the biggest selling point. According to catalog intermediary Larry West, “It’s an opportunity for a fall/holiday marketer who needs immediate call center, warehouse, and distribution center operations.” West, of New York-based West Cos., and Jim Adams of Peterborough, NH-based James C. Adams, are advising The Tog Shop shareholders in the deal.

According to data services provider NextMark, The Tog Shop has 195,342 12-month buyers with an average order of $95. Swimwear mailer A.B. Lambdin has 66,639 12-month buyers with an average order of $130.

Interested parties should e-mail directmarketingacquisition@yahoo.com

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