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Descoteaux Boutiques Exits Retail Sector

PARIS, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- International giftware developer, distributor and retailer Descoteaux Boutiques (DBS) has completed negotiations for the sale of its remaining retail holdings Gift World and Kleargear at 5.3 times projected 2014 EBITDA.

DBS began divesting its retail assets in 2011 after reacquiring outstanding shares of stock from its largest creditors, exporter Shenzhen Technology Gifts and North American fulfillment contractor Chenal Brands, exchanged in a minority debt-for-equity swap with six creditors under a conciliation procedure in 2006.  The sale of these final properties is expected to close within 90 days, during the final phase of DBS' restructuring.

Three brick-and-mortar Gift World shops located in France and the United Kingdom are not included in the deal and will cease operations in January 2015.

Gadget and geek culture merchant Kleargear.com (http://www.kleargear.com), whose calendar 2014 revenue year-to-date has climbed 92% above the same period in 2013, will complete the transition of its North American fulfillment operations to Amazon Fulfillment in October when its contract with Chenal expires.

"We believe this move will help improve order fulfillment speed during the holiday shopping season by more than 30%," said CEO Christophe Monette.  "Our transition to Amazon's wider, more robust fulfillment network will help us remain competitive and accommodate Kleargear's remarkable growth rate which accelerated in 2013 and has already exceeded our current year forecast."

In connection with the asset sale, DBS' head of North American retail operations, J. Lee Gersten, has left the company effective immediately.  Under Gersten's astute leadership, DBS Retail reversed a deficit in fiscal 2006 to post a CAGR of 42.6% between 2007 and 2014, in the consumer discretionary space, during the most challenging global economy since The Great Depression.

"Lee's success serves as a testament to his team's ingenuity, merchandising strategy and streamlined logistics," continued Monette.  "These were strategic and operational wins that fit squarely with the escalating appeal of unique entertainment merchandise at a price point that resonates with cost-conscious consumers."

With DBS' outsourcing strategy in North America, internal staff displaced by the divestiture of its retail portfolio will be limited.

Once the acquisition of DBS' 10-year-old retail business line is complete, Monette will shift the company's focus back to its core competency of higher-margin consumer product development and wholesale distribution in the giftware space across Western Europe.

Margaux Banet
FR: +33 (0) 1 82 88 88 18
US: 01-646-810-9268
http://www.dboutiques.fr

SOURCE Descoteaux Boutiques

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