Beverly, MA-based women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Appleseed’s has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the brand name and customer list of rival cataloger The Tog Shop. Terms of the deal, which was expected to close Aug. 1, were not released.
“We’ve been trying to update and renovate the Appleseed’s brand,” says Claire Spofford, senior vice president of marketing and retail. Research has revealed that Appleseed’s has been moving away slightly from a segment of customers in the 50-plus age group that is served by The Tog Shop.
So when the heirs of Tog Shop founder Emory Rylander put the business up for sale earlier this year, Appleseed’s jumped at the opportunity to acquire the Americus, GA, mailer. The deal does not include the $50 million Tog Shop’s other assets, which are five small stores in Georgia used primarily for overstocks and the A.B. Lambdin women’s swimsuit and apparel catalog and Website. The Tog Shop acquired the $15 million A.B. Lambdin in fall 1982.
According to Spofford, Appleseed’s will begin mailing the acquired catalog under the name Tog Shop by Appleseed’s in September. Tog Shop orders will be fulfilled from Appleseed’s Beverly distribution center.
The Tog Shop has been mailing catalogs since the early 1950s. Appleseed’s would not disclose the size of The Tog Shop’s house file, but according to listings service NextMark, the catalog has nearly 189,000 12-month buyers; Appleseed’s has nearly 418,000 12-month buyers.
Founded in 1946, Appleseed’s was bought by Swiss retailing giant Jelmoli in 1988. Jelmoli sold Appleseed’s in 1999, two years after closing the company’s 17 stores to focus on its direct business. Appleseed’s, which began reopening stores in 2003, now has three stores and two outlets.