Spanx founder Sara Blakely says enterprise will increase into denim and extra after Blackstone deal

  • Shapewear maker Spanx is pushing into different classes of attire — together with denim — in hopes of constructing all clothes extra snug for ladies.
  • The corporate can also be trying to develop its direct-to-consumer enterprise, which at present makes up about 70% of income.
  • Blackstone stated Wednesday it was taking a majority stake in Spanx, valuing the enterprise at $1.2 billion.

Shaping Up a Deal: Spanx founder on Blackstone’s majority stake

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Spanx is known for its form-fitting shapewear. However in keeping with founder Sara Blakely, it is making an enormous push into different classes of attire — together with denim — in hopes of constructing all clothes extra snug for ladies.

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The enterprise, based within the late Nineties, can also be positioned to maintain increasing its direct-to-consumer arm, lessening its reliance on low cost retailers and different wholesale companions, similar to malls. Direct-to-consumer gross sales are sometimes extra worthwhile. This additionally means Spanx has shaped nearer relationships with its clients.

In response to Blackstone, these had been two key the explanation why the funding agency determined to take a majority stake in Spanx. That funding, introduced Wednesday, values Spanx at $1.2 billion. 

“There aren’t very many manufacturers which were capable of efficiently make that transition,” Ann Chung, Blackstone’s international head of its client division, stated in an interview Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Field.”

“What we actually noticed was that the patron was following the corporate and the model … whether or not they had been placing shapewear out, or leggings out, or denims out, and so they had been following all of the merchandise and being very loyal,” Chung stated.

About 70% of Spanx’s gross sales are from direct-to-consumer channels, in keeping with Blakely. Spanx used to rely on malls and different wholesale companions. However lately, it has invested extra into its personal web site. That is an analogous shift that main client manufacturers — together with Nike, Coach and Levi Strauss — have been making to construct tighter relationships with clients and maintain extra money from every transaction.

The deal is Blackstone’s newest transfer to again women-run companies. It follows investments in Whitney Wolfe Herd’s Bumble and Reese Witherspoon’s Howdy Sunshine media conglomerate.



a close up of Sara Blakely: Founder of Spanx Sara Blakely.


© Offered by CNBC
Founding father of Spanx Sara Blakely.

Blakely launched Spanx in 1998 with simply $5,000 in her pocket, which she had earned from promoting fax machines. Her imaginative and prescient on the time was to create a product for ladies to put on beneath clothes, that helped them really feel extra snug. She chopped the legs off a pair of control-top pantyhose to create her prototype. The ensuing product was a direct hit with girls.

Spanx has since expanded its assortment to incorporate activewear, denim and even males’s shapewear. In response to Blakely, product innovation will proceed to be a precedence.

“We type of outlined a class and revolutionized it, and we’re now doing that in attire and energetic,” she instructed CNBC. “Our customers have been saying, ‘Put the magic of Spanx within the clothes that I am carrying.'”

As extra girls hunt down snug items so as to add to their wardrobes, the shapewear house has grown much more aggressive. Actuality TV star Kim Kardashian West has a model known as Skims, which was not too long ago valued at $1.6 billion. HanesBrands has expanded to shapewear by its Bali and Maidenform manufacturers.

“Lots of people go into this class and shortly exit it after about two years, as a result of shapewear is very easy to make, and actually laborious to get proper,” Blakely stated.

When the take care of Blackstone closes, Blakely will preserve a big stake within the firm and proceed to supervise operations. She is going to transition to function government chairwoman.

Inflation is feeling more and more extra pervasive, persistent, says Blackstone president

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