Fidelity, the ginormous investment bank, just bought 10 percent of the company for $35 million, WWD is reporting. Which means Burch believes the store—-best known for its ultra preppy women's clothes, jewelry and kooky housewares-—is worth $350 million.
That's a lofty valuation for a retailer that's only been around for a little over a year, and has only experienced moderate success. "Our first locations outside of New York were a disaster," said Burch at WWD's CEO Summit in January. New York, however, has embraced the brand: There were two-hour-long lines over the holidays. While Burch considers those queues a "failure" from a customer service perspective, he also said it proves his customers' dedication. "At Christmas, they wanted to stand in line!"
Burch will presumably use Fidelity's investment to open more stores. He's aiming for "50 to 100, globally," by 2014.
As for Burch's other labels--"we're launching 13 new brands over the next three years," he said at the conference--right now he's focusing on Poppin, the office accessories line, and Monika Chang, his girlfriend's contemporary collection. While Burch said Poppin is "working very well right now," he confessed to his peers at the summit that he needed a little help with Monika Chang. "I'm begging everyone who owns a store...the product is really special," he went on. "We don't have wholesale accounts...we need a Nordstrom!"
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