dELiA*s, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLIA)
|50 W 23rd St Fl 10f||Phone: +1-212-590-6200|
|New York, NY||Fax: +1-212-807-9069|
|United States||Map This Company|
|http://www.delias.com||Hoover's coverage by Alexandra Biesada|
Stephen Kahn launched dELiA*s from his New York living room in 1993 with his former Yale roommate, Christopher Edgar. The company distributed its first catalog, aimed at young women, in 1994 through a network of on-campus college representatives; it broadened its reach the next year with direct mail. Sales grew from $139,000 in fiscal 1994 to more than $30 million two years later. In 1996 dELiA*s went public.
A year later dELiA*s acquired TSI Soccer, a North Carolina-based soccer equipment and apparel chain with 13 outlets and a catalog, thus gaining an inroad to the male half of Generation Y. That year the company also opened its first retail store, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and bought gURL, Interactive, a Web site geared toward its target market.
In 1998 dELiA*s acquired 26 mall-based teen clothing stores operating as Jean Country and Screeem! (The company closed some stores and is converting others to the dELiA's name.) It also launched catalogs for boys' apparel (Droog) and home furnishings (Contents). dELiA*s bought the trademarks and mailing lists of several children's clothing catalogs from ailing mail-order company Fulcrum Direct in 1998, nearly doubling its customer database. dELiA*s spun off about a third of its majority-owned iTurf online subsidiary in a 1999 IPO. In 2000, after iTurf's stock sank below $2 per share in the dot-com fallout, dELiA*s bought it back for about $83 million. iTurf then assumed the dELiA*s name.
In 2001 the company began selling some of its noncore businesses. Within four months it had sold its TSI Soccer catalog and Internet operations (to Sports Endeavors, publisher of the Eurosport soccer catalog); its TheSpark.com subsidiary, including the SparkNotes.com academic resource site (to #1 bookseller Barnes & Noble); its Storybook Heirlooms and Just For Kids catalog and Web businesses (to CelebrateExpress.com, operator of the Birthday Express and Celebrate Express party supplies and services catalogs and websites); and its gURL.com segment to teen media operator Primedia Inc. As part of its decision to exit the Internet community business, it also dismantled its Droog operations that year.
In 2003 dELiA*s was acquired by Alloy, Inc. Just over two years later, the youth marketer spun off dELiA*s in 2005 to separate its retail and marketing businesses. Following the spin-off, Chairman Matthew L. Feshbach owned about 18% of the company through various investment vehicles. (Feshbach sold his stake in the company in 2006.)
dELiA*s closed its two outlet stores in 2006, followed by the addition of about a dozen new stores in 2007.
In 2008 the company sold its CCS brand to
In 2009 the company opened its 100th store.
In May 2010 Robert Bernard stepped down as CEO; he was succeeded by industry veteran and COO Walter Killough.