In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The retailer will launch new and existing home and apparel stores and web sites.
Multichannel retailer Redcats Group had e-commerce sales of $2.5 billion worldwide on the Internet in 2010. And CEO Jean-Michel Noir says there is plenty of room to grow overseas, including online.
Redcats Group, which operates Redcats USA, No. 31 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is planning to expand into new territory, including launching its plus-sized apparel site OneStopPlus.com in Spain, Portugal and at least three other countries before the end of the year. Its popular French home and apparel brand La Redoute will continue to grow in Eastern Europe and Scandinavian brand Ellos will launch in the United Kingdom and Switzerland in the coming months, Noir says.
In 2010, Redcats, which operates more than 70 e-commerce brands, generated web sales of $2.63 billion, which accounted for 54% of the group’s total sales of $4.82 billion. Redcats didn’t break out web sales for 2009.
Though he would not offer details, as he says the retailer is early in the planning process, Noir says Redcats is considering expanding its retail operations into Asia and especially China. “At this moment we are looking at Asia and how we can take root in the coming years. It’s promising and challenging because the markets are so big.”
Additionally, the multichannel retailer will direct much of its focus in 2011 on the company’s plus-sized division, OneStopPlus. “We have decided to own this category,” Noir said.
In February, the site hosted an online plus-sized fashion show to coincide with Fashion Week in New York that shoppers could view on smartphones and iPad and iTouch devices made by Apple Inc., No. 4 in the Top 500 Guide. New plus-sized brands are also in the works for the U.S.
The retailer currently markets 17 home, sports and apparel brands in 31 countries. Redcats has more than 70 e-commerce sites including GolfWarehouse.com, SportsmansGuide.com, LaRedoute.fr and Castaluna.com.
Although Redcats has definitive plans for expansion overseas, the past year also included efforts to build up the company’s U.S. e-commerce business. In December, OneStopPlus.com in the U.S. launched an iPhone app for its plus-size female shoppers. The app offers 15,000 items shoppers can view and buy via an iPhone or iPod Touch. In September Redcats also appointed Dawn Robertson as CEO of the multichannel retailer’s United Retail Inc., which sells plus-size women’s fashion apparel, footwear and accessories that carry the Avenue brand.
For 2010, Redcats USA reported web sales of $716.5 million, a 0.2% increase from $714.9 million in 2009.
Redcats Group’s parent company PPR SA, a French-based retail conglomerate, is the fifth largest web retailer in Internet Retailer’s recently published Top 300 Europe research guide.