Maurices is an American women's clothing retail chain based in Duluth, Minnesota. Founded in 1931, the chain targets women aged 25-45 with value apparel through a network of c. 1,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada. Maurices is a "hometown retailer", with nearly 70% of its stores located in small towns, benefitting from favourable competitive dynamics, and over 40% of stores in the Midwest, the company's historic home market.
The founding Labovitz family sold maurices to the Brenninkmeijer family's American Retail Group in 1978. In 2005, ascena retail group acquired the business from American Retail Group. Before the acquisition by OpCapita, the company was part of ascena's Value Fashion Segment alongside apparel discounter, dressbarn. Market
The U.S. retail sector has faced difficult headwinds in recent years, with declining store traffic, as well as store closures and bankruptcies, all compounded by accelerated customer migration to online platforms.
Following this recent period of pressure, U.S. retail emerged from 2017 on more solid footing, with many apparel retailers seeing a return to stability or growth, due to elimination of excess retail apparel capacity, stronger digital and in-store capabilities, and a stronger U.S. economy. Within the apparel retail market, value-oriented retailers with sharper price points have significantly outperformed higher price point competitors. Strategy
OpCapita believes that maurices has the ability to compete effectively as a value retailer focused on its core "hometown" market retail positioning, with a well-priced and relevant product assortment targeting a re-engaged omni-channel customer. OpCapita has identified multiple areas in which disciplined operational focus will drive a material increase in profitability, including improvements in the company's sourcing strategy, a new approach to merchandising and inventory and the development of omni-channel capabilities. Achievements
Since our investment, we have:
- Identified and recruited senior management
- Launched a structured PMO to prioritize and track implementation of key operational improvement initiatives
- Initiated strategic sourcing partnership discussions