October 30, 2013, 11:33 AM

The Container Store organizes an IPO

Web sales rose about 25% in 2012 and year-to-date web sales are up 18%.

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The Container Store, a retail chain that sells storage and organizational products online at ContainerStore.com and through its network of 61 stores, wants to go public.

Most of the money raised will go toward helping The Container Store, No. 300 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide pay down debt, for general corporate purposes and grow the part of the business that’s expanded the fastest—and that’s online.

In its initial public offering filed this morning with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the retailer says it hopes to raise up to $225 million in funding by selling up to 12.5 million shares of stock priced between $17 and $18 per share.

In its IPO papers, The Container Store says the web is important to future expansion plans and its fastest-growing channel. In its public stock filing the company didn’t break out specific metrics for e-commerce but did say its web channel grew 24.6% in 2012. The Container Store provided Internet Retailer and the Top 500 Guide with actual web sales of $47 million in 2011. Based on growth of 25% in 2012, Internet Retailer estimates The Container Store produced web sales of about $59 million.

For the first six months of 2013, The Container Store didn’t release specific sales but did say e-commerce grew by 17.5%. “We believe we are well-positioned for continued growth in our direct sales channels,” the retailer says in the filing. “Our web site and call center sales have increased 84% from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012, including 25% growth in fiscal 2012.”

In recent months The Container Store continued to add new e-commerce features such as a buy online and pick-up in store service that features curbside delivery to the customer’s vehicle. Going forward as a public company The Container Store says it will continue to invest in the web. “Advanced technologies, provide additional convenience and flexibility to our customers and reinforce our commitment to providing a differentiated shopping experience,” the retailer says.

In its public filing The Container Store also reported:

  • Sales for 2012 increased about 11.6% to $706.8 million to $633.6 million in 2011
  • Net loss was $130,000 compared with net loss of $30.7 million in 2011.
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