Marquee Brands’ maternity portfolio is about to broaden.
Second Avenue Capital Partners has closed on a $10 million senior secured credit score facility to Marquee’s two maternity manufacturers: Motherhood Maternity and A Pea within the Pod. The cash can be used to supply the corporate with further liquidity to broaden the digital development initiatives it amplified through the top of the pandemic.
Even earlier than COVID-19 precipitated retail shops to shutter, the 2 maternity manufacturers had began to implement a strategic plan to shut all of their brick-and-mortar shops and focus solely on their on-line efforts. In 2019, Destination Maternity had operated about 900 shops however about 200 have been closed through the chapter and final March, the remaining shops have been liquidated. The 21 remaining Pea within the Pod shops have been additionally exited by the identical time.
According to Marla Ryan, model govt vice chairman for each Motherhood Maternity and A Pea within the Pod, “Last year was such a large transition for us. Prior to the pandemic, we were already in the process of reducing and closing all of our brick-and-mortar locations. Two weeks before everything set in, we also decided to exit all of our leased locations within Macy’s, Bye Bye Baby and Boscov’s and focus on being a digitally driven organization.”
Then when on-line purchasing was the one choice, Ryan mentioned, the manufacturers doubled down on their efforts to speak extra intently with their clients by creating extra compelling digital content material associated to all phases of motherhood.
“We made a lot of investments last year, we upgraded to a new platform for both of our websites, we took a lot of time to rebrand both of the businesses,” Ryan mentioned. “It had been some time since that had been done.”
At the identical time, the corporate considerably expanded its advertising and marketing efforts, an initiative that obtained its begin through the Zoom conferences that turned pervasive through the pandemic. Some of the workers have been pregnant and it gave rise to an concept: The Zoom conferences can be filmed and so they spawned the Real Moms video marketing campaign.
“We had four different series,” Ryan mentioned, including that they resulted in “phenomenal community engagement. These were real moms and they were struggling: how will I deliver, can my partner come to the hospital, how do I go to my first appointment, what will happen if I get sick, what if the baby gets sick, what do I do, where do I go? And the really beautiful thing was that as each mom came through each of the stages, they were able to give advice to the ones that were coming up.”
That marketing campaign continues this 12 months together with Life & Color, a multicity digital journey that kicked off in March in Philadelphia that can proceed in main markets across the nation the place expectant mothers in every metropolis take viewers to the highest native spots. The marketing campaign features a charity element the place $2 from the sale of a Mamma T can be donated to an area non-profit.
“No matter where you live in the U.S., they’re all dealing with the same thing: going back to work, schools reopening or not reopening,” Ryan mentioned. “It’s helped bond us through this interesting journey we’ve been on.”
Ryan mentioned the profitable group constructing efforts have additionally led to elevated gross sales. She pointed specifically to a collaboration between A Pea within the Pod and Something Navy that kicked off in December. “We had fantastic sales and did a second launch in May around summer dresses,” Ryan mentioned, including that the businesses are “looking to continue that relationship.”
Ryan mentioned that since becoming a member of the corporate from Lands’ End round three years in the past, the main focus has been on “three pillars: providing core essentials, offering fashion and focusing on “solutions and innovations. Today, you don’t really need to wear maternity to be pregnant — we’ve heard from many women that it’s a badge of honor to not have to buy maternity, but we can make you feel more comfortable, confident, help you and aid you throughout the pregnancy and after.”
Ryan mentioned the capital will enable the manufacturers to additionally create new merchandise such because the Bump Lift Secret Fit Belly that helps girls within the later phases of their being pregnant in addition to the Bump Ease, a brief with a cooling stomach.
“These two maternity brands sit in a highly unique, niche market and possess an enviable e-commerce platform,” mentioned Chris O’Connor, president of Second Avenue Capital Partners. “This facility will serve their business goals as they focus on developing a leading global marketplace and collaborate with strategic partners to achieve continued brand growth.”
Jonathan Greller, head of technique and company growth at Marquee Brands, added: “We’ve designed our digital channels with a focus on being consumer-centric. We’re really focused on solutions, building a community where commerce meets content. We continue to invest in our customer data platform to ensure we’re sending the right communication to the right customer and focus on personalization. That’s precisely why we continue to have the bright outlook on these two brands being the leading fashion maternity online retailers.”
The firm was based in 1982 by Dan and Rebecca Matthias as a mail-order catalogue underneath the Mothers Work Inc. identify. In October 2019, the corporate went bankrupt, and in December of that 12 months was bought by Marquee Brands, which additionally owns the Martha Stewart, Bruno Magli and BCBG Max Azria nameplates. Marquee is owned by investor funds managed by Neuberger Berman.