PRIVATE EQUITY-OWNED RETAILER PARTNERSHIPS
JGA has partnered with private equity firms to create business value through innovation and face the “new normal” through several marketplace disruptions. Our design solutions are tightly aligned to our clients’ business strategy for growth, enhanced valuation and investment returns – a few highlights:
SUNDANCE: Sundance was acquired by Brentwood Associates with a purpose to protect the catalog’s branding but also to grow the business, particularly on the brick and mortar side, which is where the JGA partnership came in. Brentwood enlisted JGA to translate Robert Redford’s Sundance catalog into its brick and mortar prototype.
JGA re-imagined Redford’s retail vision in a way that was more complementary to the way Sundance’s online and catalog consumers shop – think of pagination; the flow and series of theme; the way the catalog is organized into stories; etc. and converted that into Sundance’s now-physical, experiential environment. Sundance has since grown to five additional distinct locations, and is continuing to roll out its successful store concept into multiple shopping centers in high profile markets. VIEW PROJECT.
BLUE NILE: Blue Nile, strictly an online company for 16 years, partnered with JGA to develop proof of concept for its first physical store model called a “Webroom.” Goals included increasing lifetime value of the customer; accelerating repurchase; and providing the converted online customer additional visibility to the brand and category. Additionally, a main objective was to take the skeptical or non-converted customer and eliminate the barrier to entry by locating the Webroom in the heart of maximum competition as a defined alternative to either a pure online or a pure physical purchase behavior. JGA takes pride in the strategic Webroom concept they designed that exceeded all of these goals, so much so that it led to Bain Capital and Bow Street LLC acquiring the retailer, now able to grow and leverage the proof of concept value of the circular commerce model.
With these cleverly designed high-tech Webrooms, Blue Nile’s efficient footprint versus the massive overhead of traditional jewelers allowed them to simultaneously disrupt and leverage the brick and mortar experience. Webrooms = no inventory, no security and no direct in-store sales, just web-facilitated transactions. These future-proofed Webrooms are now performing above $10k per sq ft. VIEW PROJECT.
ALLEN EDMONDS: Although it was a century old, highly respected niche shoe company with a loyal customer base, Allen Edmonds had a need to create a chapter beyond shoes as it had a challenging and declining wholesale model, which led to its acquisition by Brentwood Associates. Brentwood brought in JGA not only to provide full design, construction management and implementation services to support Allen Edmonds’ expansion strategy, but also for their expertise in retail brand repositioning. JGA spearheaded the rebranding of Allen Edmonds as a leather authority and lifestyle store that would attract new, younger consumers and expand the consumer purchase expectation beyond shoes into accessories, particularly leather accessories and apparel.
Most importantly in this process, JGA rapidly implemented a test proof of concept and roll-out to backfill the challenges of wholesale and provided a model that allowed for growth in direct-to-consumer, be it online (or online enhanced through the retail space), and international interest in the brand beyond the U.S. The new JGA-designed prototype was successfully rolled out across 20+ stores in approximately 14 months, resulting in targeted parent company Caleres acquiring it in 2017. VIEW PROJECT.
OTICAS CAROL (Brazil): Private equity group 3i partnered with JGA to redesign and value engineer Óticas Carol to significantly reduce franchisee costs as well as simplify and accelerate the store replication process from 6 to 2 months. An additional overall objective for the brand was to attract all customer types, A-D class. JGA purposefully designed the store to meet these goals (ask us for before & after photos), which resulted in Óticas Carol highly disrupting the eyewear industry’s price point and being acquired by targeted parent company Luxottica.
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