DSW Embraces E-Commerce Through Acquisition of Footwear Retailer Ebuys

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Footwear and accessories retailer DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) is buying Ebuys Inc. in an effort to expand into online and international markets. DSW will pay $62.5 million plus future payments dependent on the performance of Ebuys; the deal is expected to close within 30 days.

San Diego-based Ebuys sells off-price—lower than normal retail price--footwear and accessories online to customers in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. DSW CEO Roger Rawlins says Ebuys will help his company expand its off-price sourcing, its presence in digital markets and its opportunities with customers internationally. Ebuys will continue to operate as a separate business under DSW, with David Duong staying on as CEO and offices maintained in San Diego and Antioch, Tennessee. Ebuys also operates e-commerce platforms under ShoeMetro and ApparelSave names.

The deal appears to be designed to help DSW face the challenges that many retailers are experiencing from shifting consumer shopping habits, e-commerce competition and significantly shorter fashion cycles. For some retailers, the changing environment is forcing bankruptcy restructurings.

Columbus, Ohio-based DSW operates 469 stores in the U.S., plus an e-commerce website, and it supplies footwear to 378 U.S. locations under Affiliated Business Group.

Peter J. Solomon Co. was DSW’s financial adviser on the deal, with Houlihan Lokey serving as Ebuys’ financial adviser.

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