Although its U.S. spokespeople declined comment, Paris-based retailer Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) is said to be interested in adding to its line of catalogs for its Redcats USA division.
Redcats USA has 10 catalog titles, including apparel books Chadwick’s of Boston and Lerner, and home catalog BrylaneHome. PPR chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault has said that the company is interested in two or three properties but did not mention any by name. “We are looking at opportunities to make a medium-sized acquisition, most probably a nontextile catalog,” he said. “But we are not looking at a specific product category.”
PPR has identified the U.S. as an area for growth for its mail order division, and speculation is that a catalog acquisition could yield important synergies, and create savings in other areas.
Mal Appelbaum, president of New York-based financial consultancy Appletree Advisors, says that the news of such acquisitions should not come as a surprise. “Even though there have been generally mixed results for direct marketers in the U.S. recently doesn’t mean that such transactions will not continue to occur,” he says. “And although it may not be the best time to make U.S.-based acquisitions, it’s probably more favorable for a foreign entity to do so.”
Applebaum adds that it’s not exactly imprudent to send out this type of press release. If you’re even contemplating buying another business, he says, such a release plainly lets others know, “We’re interested in buying.”
Last year Redcats USA mailed more than 500 million catalogs.