Based on previous work conducted on behalf of JCPenney, the company built a strong rapport and level of trust with Hilco. When faced with the need to formulate a solution for excess inventory without closing stores, JCPenney asked Hilco to help. Working with JCP, Hilco implemented and tested a program featuring three different clearance concepts within their stores. Based on the test, Hilco and JCPenney selected the preferred concept, refined the program, and rolled it out to a broader network of stores.
As the largest, and one of the most talked about, going out of business events of all time, Hilco and its partners were trusted and retained to drive maximum value from the inventory and fixed assets in the stores and distribution centers. Hilco had a keen sense of the business, being the appraiser on record and having conducted multiple sale events for the company through the years, which paid dividends when operating TRUs retail locations and managing the exit from the Distribution Centers.
Operating under a fee for service structure, this retailer retained Hilco to help monetize $132MM of non-conforming inventory and end of season shelf pulls. Hilco was able to successfully negotiate a deal in which all inventory was purchased by a single buyer at a price in excess of the retailer’s expectations, and over 150 trailer loads were transported within a week of funding.
After failing to find a going concern buyer for its business, as a function of its bankruptcy, Hilco successfully submitted a joint bid with private equity firm Sycamore Partners to purchase Coldwater Creek. Collectively, Hilco and Sycamore saw opportunity for Coldwater Creek to shed its stores and continue as an e-tailer, in large part due to the goodwill behind the brand. Hilco purchased and sold $250MM worth of inventory and FF&E while ultimately shedding Coldwater Creek’s 366 stores. After the sale, Sycamore was able to leverage Coldwater Creek’s substantial brand equity to relaunch the company as a catalogue and online retailer. Our thesis was correct – Coldwater Creek is still successfully operating today.
In its plans to grow from a regional to a national retailer, Forever 21 identified a need to better address its loss prevention policies and procedures, but was unsure where to start. Hilco offered its deep retail and asset protection experience to partner with Forever 21 to develop a soup to nuts program, including methods to designate high risk stores and individuals, audit and integrity shops, training, awareness, and more. The structure of our program supports Forever 21’s LP practices to this day.
During its bankruptcy, Hostess Brands faced a number of headwinds the company needed to address. One such headwind was ensuring safe and operational facilities across its footprint due to the number of striking employees. Hilco was able to assist Hostess Brands by providing site protection security services at dozens of bakery facilities, ensuring non-striking employees and vendors had safe and secure access to their locations. Based on the success found at the bakeries, the assignment expanded to include 400 retail locations and 200 vehicle depots nationwide. Our ability to ensure seamless operations helped the company successfully reorganize.
Partially due to our robust international and Canadian experience, Hilco was engaged to lead the financial and operational components of Target’s exit from Canada. Target took an aggressive Canadian stance, entering the market with its first store in March 2013 and expanding to over 130 stores only a year and a half later. Ultimately, Target Canada needed to be closed and they sought professional help to wind-down the chain in an orderly manner; maximizing proceeds while minimizing liability and cost. Hilco micro-managed the sale of 133 locations and $700MM in inventory was monetized on Target’s behalf, allowing management to focus on their go-forward multinational operations.
In a unique, first of its kind transaction, Hilco partnered with licensing firm Authentic Brands Group LLC, and mall operators Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties, in a deal that preserved Aeropostale’s ongoing business. On the verge of fully liquidating, Hilco played a pivotal deal-making role in structuring the new entity. The working capital generated from our involvement funded the company through its restructuring and inventory reformatting process, ultimately resulting in 555 reopened stores and thousands of saved jobs.