Coronavirus Market Volatility Has Cole Haan Delaying IPO

Footwear and lifestyle accessories brand Cole Haan’s plans to raise a reported $100 million in an IPO are on hold due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, several media outlets reported.

Reuters said Cole Haan declined comment on news that the IPO plans, announced in a Feb. 14 SEC filing, were on hold amid the recent stock market volatility, which also prompted Warner Music Group Corp. to delay its IPO plans as well.

Calling itself an “emerging growth company,” Cole Haan said in the SEC filing it would list its common stock on the NASDAQ under the symbol CLHN.

“Today, Cole Haan is a $1 billion global performance lifestyle brand at retail that connects with consumers primarily over digital platforms,” CEO Jack Boys said in the SEC filing.

Cole Haan management and Apax Partners acquired Cole Haan from Nike in February 2013 with a vision of disrupting the conventional dress footwear industry.

“Since then, we have pioneered new categories of footwear and lifestyle accessories that customers wear from work-to-workout-to-weekend, building upon our 90-year heritage and reputation for quality craftsmanship with innovation,” the company said in its SEC filing. “Our brand resonates equally with women and men across multiple generations, with the focus of product creation and marketing towards our core 24- to 44-year-old customers.”

The transformation at Cole Haan has been focused on doing business “at the speed of digital,” with emphasis on DTC business. “As a result, over 30% of our total sales come from digital commerce through our sites and our wholesale partners’ sites,” it said in the filing.

Cole Haan’s multichannel distribution network covers 64 countries anchored by the digital flagship site, colehaan.com, and including 368 stores and more than 450 global wholesale accounts. The North America segment comprises the DTC business and 112 stores, in addition to wholesale distribution to accounts including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Hibbett Sports, Amazon, Zappos and Stitch Fix.

In Japan, where Cole Haan has operated for nearly 25 years, its footprint is primarily DTC, consisting of 80 stores and our localized digital commerce site, the SEC filing said. The rest of international sales are spread across 60 countries, where 37 regional distributors fund the cost of creating and operating 176 Cole Haan branded stores. 

Some of Cole Haan’s growth stats from 2019, according to the SEC filing, include growing its DTC base 42% to 1.5 million customers, growing topline 14% to $686.6 million and increasing net income by 43.4% to $33.1 million.

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