May 5, 2004, 12:00 AM

It’s not a bandwagon yet, but 2 more retailers sign up for IPOs

In the wake of a rush of funding in the past 6 months, two retailers with significant online operations--Alibris and Cabela’s--have filed for IPOs.

In the wake of a rush of funding in the past 6 months, two retailers with significant online operations have filed for IPOs.

Online seller of used books Alibris Inc. is seeking $25 million through an initial public offering of common stock. The operator of Alibris.com, which sells directly to consumers as well as to some 5,000 booksellers, says it will use the proceeds to grow its product supply, expand marketing and sales, invest in technology and operations infrastructure, and for working capital and general operating purposes.

For the year ended Dec. 31, Alibris posted a net loss of $6 million on $45.5 million in revenue, compared to a net loss of $7.2 million on $31 million in revenue in 2002.

Cabela’s Inc., multi-channel retailer of hunting and camping supplies, hopes to raise $230 million for opening new stores, according to a registration statement it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO.

Cabela’s operates nine stores and expects to open a 10th this year. The filing noted that Cabela’s posted $51 million in fiscal 2003 net income on revenue of $1.4 billion.

Cabela’s also operates a catalog and Cabelas.com, where it received 46.6 million visitors in 2003, the company says in its prospectus. Cabela’s posted $924.3 millionweb/catalog sales in 2003, up 6.5% from $867.8 million in 2002.

Blue Nile Inc. has told the Securities and Exchange Commission it plans to sell 3.74 million common shares in its IPO, announced in March, with a price of $17.50 to $19.50 a share. The company is selling 2 million shares, while shareholders are selling the rest. Blue Nile intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. m

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