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Tiffany Montgomery
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Metropark files paperwork to go public

By Tiffany Montgomery
June 20, 2008 6:56 AM

I saw a short item on the Apparel News website this morning that Metropark filed a prospectus this month to go public.


I know some industry brands sell to Metropark, so I dug through the paperwork to find some interesting details about the business. I love when companies go public. There's so much data to mine.


The biggest number that jumped out at me was Metropark's same-store sales for fiscal 2007 - a 34.2 percent increase. In fiscal 2006, same-store sales rose 18.3 percent.


Those are Buckle-like numbers.


In 2007, total sales reached $71.6 million. Net income was tiny_mce_marker.2 million.


Metropark stores aim to mix the feel of a fashion boutique with the energy of a nightclub. The strategy is to appeal to 20 to 35 year olds who have outgrown teen retailers at the mall. Metropark carries designer brands that are hard to find at the mall such as Howe, English Laundry, Aqua VI, Stussy and Rock and Republic. It often gets limited time exclusive products from its vendors.


Those more expensive brands lead to high average sales per store: $2.3 million in 2007, with net sales per square foot of $804.


As of May 3, Metropark had 43 stores in 17 states: California, Oregon, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Nevada, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Connecticut and Florida.


The company, based in the City of Industry, plans to open 25 stores in fiscal 2008 and 25 to 30 stores in fiscal 2009. Metropark believes the chain can grow to 300 locations in the U.S.


In the prospectus, Metropark cites its experienced management team as a key advantage. Founder and Chairman Orval Madden founded Hot Topic and was the CEO for many years. CEO Renee Bell previously held high-level positions at Bebe and Charlotte Ruse.


The company plans to use the proceeds from going public to reduce debt, pay dividends to current stockholders and fund growth.


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