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TRC Blog

April 01 , 2008

TRC Continues to Be Serious Shopper

April 1st, 2008 - By Alan Shor | President. The Retail Connection remains keenly interested in retail investment opportunities even in light of a softening retail sales environment across the country. In each of its investment divisions — merchant banking, development and acquisition, the Company continues to identify and pursue opportunities that meet TRC’s investment criteria. “The current retail environment is creating significant investment opportunities and we are well positioned to use our competitive advantage and close a healthy number of deals this year. Investments in middle and small market private retail companies, while slowing, will continue in 2008. Private equity firms are cautiously pursuing retail buyouts and hoping to take advantage of this market — particularly among small to mid-sized merchants where valuations range from $25 to $250 million. The Retail Connection’s merchant banking platform, Connected Capital Services, ran due diligence on approximately 25 companies in 2007 and participated in closing investments on two retail chains. “The TRC team is continuing to trigger investment opportunities. 2008 has started off in a very positive manner and the time is right for us to take advantage of the current retail market.” Regional Management Corporation – a small-loan consumer finance business with 96 stores located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. USA Discounters – a retailer which sells furniture, computers, automotive parts, bedding, electronics and jewelry to military and government employees from 12 stores in DC, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, California and Texas. Our existing merchant banking investments continue to be active. Teavana – part tea bar, part tea emporium, grew from 12 stores to almost 70 locations in 25 states and Mexico. All are located in high-end malls. Business remained strong in 2007 and 25 new stores are slated to open this year. Teavana provides fresh, high quality teas and serving products. Weisman Discount Home Centers – A sixty year old discount specialty retailer of selected home improvement products, including kitchen and bath fixtures. Weisman has grown its base of New York City stores by 60 percent. Mealey’s Furniture – a regional chain operating in southeastern Pennsylvania and south Jersey for nearly 40 years, bucked furniture retail trends with a strong year in 2007. A new 80,000-square-foot store is opening in Westminster, PA in July. Marmalade Café – a chain of nine mid-price, full service casual dining restaurants and catering operations in California, will open new restaurants this year.
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