financial
financial

Metropark Takes Step Toward IPO

Mall-based specialty retailer Metropark USA Inc. is planning to go public.

financial/news
Mall-based specialty retailer Metropark USA Inc. is planning to go public.

The lifestyle-inspired apparel and accessories concept last week filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company's targeted customers are men and women between ages 20 and 35. The concept blends fashion, music and art, and its in-store merchandising approach frequently features guest disc jockeys as well as social events in a "nightclub-like environment," the registration statement said.

Founded in 2004 by chairman Orval Madden, who also founded teen retailer Hot Topic Inc. in 1988, the 43-unit chain, with stores in 17 states, posted $71.6 million in sales in 2007 and operating income of $200,000. Sales at stores opened for at least one year gained 34.2 percent.

Sales per square foot rose to $804 last year versus $660 in fiscal 2006 and $577 the year before.

The firm's chief executive officer is Renée Bell, who has more than 20 years of senior merchant and product development experience with retailers including Bebe and Charlotte Russe. In addition, the firm's chief operating and financial officer is Efthimios Sotos, who was cfo at Jones Apparel Group and more recently at BCBG.

According to the regulatory filing, the retailer plans to open 25 stores in 2008, which includes the five stores opened as of May 3. Between 25 to 30 new stores are expected annually, starting in 2009, in regional malls, outdoor lifestyle centers and selected street locations in retail-oriented upscale neighborhoods.

Metropark expects to trade over the counter under the Nasdaq symbol "MRPK" and said the number of shares outstanding after the offering will be nearly 68.8 million.
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