September 13, 2005, 12:00 AM

SmartBargains names a new CEO and lands $18 million in equity funding

Online, off-price retailer SmartBargains Inc. has named Benjamin Fischman as president and CEO. The company also announced it has received a commitment for $18 million in equity funding from its investors.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Online, off-price retailer SmartBargains Inc. has named Benjamin Fischman as president and CEO. Fischman replaces Carl Rosendorf, who left the company in January for undisclosed reasons.

The company also announced it has received a commitment for $18 million in equity funding from its investors, including Highland Capital Partners, Maveron, General Catalyst, Gordon Brothers and Time Warner.

Fischman has been chief marketing officer for the company for the past five years. Prior to joining SmartBargains, he founded Lids Inc., a national specialty retailer of headwear and accessories.

SmartBargains plans to use the equity funding to finance the growth of the business, including expanding customer relationships through marketing partnerships, Fischman says. “We continue to build out our marketing partnerships, both from an affiliate standpoint and also with the major portals and other partners we’ve had success with in the past,” he says.

SmartBargains, No. 78 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, also will make greater use of analytics tools and programs, Fischman says. “We’ve had some huge success in our customer analytics tools and we plan to reinvest in those tools so as to continue to drive great acquisition and high levels of retention,” he says.

SmartBargains, which in February pulled back a planned IPO, has no plans to go public, Fischman says. “We decided to fund the company privately,” he says.

SmartBargains’ revenue rose from $75.8 million in 2003 to $92.2 million in 2004, but the company has yet to be profitable. Losses narrowed from $10.7 million in 2003 to $1.4 million in 2004.

 

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