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J.Jill Bucks Apparel Store Trend, Set for Expansion

Owner of Women’s Apparel Chain Holding IPO Expected to Raise Up to $174 Million
March 13, 2017
The owner of Quincy, MA-based J.Jill, a national women’s apparel brand, is raising up to $174 million today in an initial public offering of its common stock.

Proceeds from the IPO will go to New York-based TowerBrook Capital Partners, an investment management firm seeking to profit from its May 2015 purchase of the retailer.

However, TowerBrook will still control 57% or more of J.Jill following the public offering and the retailer plans to expand its store base and ecommerce operations.

J.Jill operates 275 stores nationwide and a robust ecommerce site. The company has posted total net sales growth from $432 million in fiscal year 2012 to $617 million for the 12 months ended Oct. 29, 2016, reflecting a 10% compound annual growth rate, according to the company.

Net income has grown from a loss of $3.6 million in 2012 to profits of $23.5 million. It has posted comparable sales growth in 17 of the last 19 consecutive quarters, including in each of the last 10 consecutive quarters.

J.Jill said it plans to open 10 to 15 new stores this year and every year after that until it has opened about 100 new stores, according to its IPO filing.

At the same time, it plans to selectively close underperforming stores annually. It closed one store in 2016.

Its store model targets an average of $1 million of net sales per store after one year of opening. Its stores average 3,750 square feet across 43 states, with approximately half of its stores located in lifestyle centers and the other half in premium malls.

It also wants to increase its direct-to-consumer sales from 42% of net sales to approximately 50% over the next few years.

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