FragranceNet.com eyes a possible sale
FragranceNet.com, an online retailer of perfumes, other fragrance, skincare and related beauty products, is evaluating offers for a possible sale of the company, sources tell Internet Retailer.
FrangranceNet.com, which has been selling online since 1997 and in 2014 posted web sales of $190 million, has retained Lazard Middle Market, a New York merger and acquisition firm with expertise in brokering e-commerce deals, to evaluate possible offers, sources tell Internet Retailer. Lazard won't confirm the FragranceNet.com, No. 167 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, involvement. FragranceNet.com also declines to discuss a possible deal.
But the web retailer, which carries an online inventory of 16,000 SKUs, is entertaining possible offers from U.S. and international companies looking to invest in a solid niche online retailing operation, sources tell Internet Retailer.
Internet Retailer’s sources don’t know the asking price or a timetable for completing a possible deal. “All of this is very early on,” says one source.
FragranceNet.com is a growing e-commerce company, especially its core online retail site, a source says. In 2015 FraganceNet will likely grow its core web business on FragranceNet.com about 20% to around $150 million, a source says. FragranceNet.com currently attracts about 1.8 million monthly unique visitors, and strong web sales over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend helped grow November online sales, year over year, by about 20%, a source tells Internet Retailer.
FragranceNet also has developed an advanced and proprietary e-commerce platform that can be leveraged by a buyer to sell a broader mix of health and beauty products, a source says. In 2010 FragranceNet devoted about 16 months to writing its own software, hiring five developers for that task and related work foran updated order processing and warehouse management system. The “FragranceNet.com order activity manager,” or FOAM, began service in 2011. Its warehouse order-picking system guides workers via digital scanners that enable faster picking and checking of outbound orders, stock replenishment and receiving of new merchandise. The homegrown fulfillment system has given FragranceNet.com the ability to ship up to 50,000 orders in a 24-hour period, the retailer says.
In February FragranceNet also put the finishing touches on a site redesign that features responsive design, improved search functionality and more video. “The e-commerce technology they developed internally is desirable to a lot of buyers looking for an established business that can expand into new health and beauty categories,” a source tells Internet Retailer.