7/21/11

Avelle bags its new name in favor of the old one

The luxury handbag rental company reverts to its old Bag Borrow or Steal moniker.

Bill Briggs , Senior Editor

It’s out with the new and in with the old for Avelle Inc. this week. The company is going back to its original—and best-known— name: Bag Borrow or Steal.

Launched in 2004, Bag Borrow or Steal, No. 439 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, offers the rental of upscale accessories, including designer handbags, jewelry, watches and sunglasses, via its web site BagBorroworSteal.com. Brands include Burberry, Chanel, Chloe, Coach, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Tom Ford.

The name change is in response to customer preference, says CEO Russ Blain. “A few years ago the company felt it had outgrown the name Bag Borrow or Steal,” he says. “However, ‘fashionistas’ and customers never stopped calling us Bag Borrow or Steal, so we listened and changed our name.”

The company also announced the closing of a new round of financing, raising up to $4 million from a group of investors led by Kuwait Holding Co. and the Atelier Fund, both of which are shareholders.

“This is a monumental time for Bag Borrow or Steal,” Blain says. “We have spent the last six months successfully fine-tuning our business model. This renewed focus on our brand, as well as our new capital, allows us to put the company on a path for accelerated growth and success.”

The web-only company had 2010 sales of $16.0 million, up by 2% from $15.7 million in 2009, according to Internet Retailer estimates.

Bag Borrow or Steal says it plans to add new, unspecified inventory to its rental collection in the next few months.

The company’s sister site BBOSPrivateSale.com launched in 2010 and offers “gently” used designer accessories for sale at savings up to 70%.

Topics:

Atelier Fund, Avelle, Bag Borrow or Steal, company name change, financing, Kuwait Holding Co., new name, Russ Blain, Top 500, upscale handbag, upscale handbag rental

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