A New York company is buying Spokane-based Etailz Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth $75 million.
Etailz, a successful e-commerce and marketing company based in the University District, will keep its headquarters in Spokane as well as its management team, according to a news release.
The buyer is Trans World Entertainment Corp., a retailer that specializes in video, music, pop culture and electronics products. Trans World operates stores under the fye (For Your Entertainment) and Suncoast names.
Trans World was interested in Etailz for its “data-driven approach to digital marketplace retailing,” the company said in a news release. “The acquisition will enable Trans World Entertainment to continue to build upon its credibility with fans of entertainment by diversifying into the fastest growing segment of retail: the digital marketplace.”
Etailz is a homegrown success, with CEO Josh Neblett developing the business plan as a student at Gonzaga University with his co-founder and now-wife, Sarah Wollnick. They won the school’s 2008 Hogan Entrepreneurial Business Plan Competition and founded what was then called Green Cupboards with angel investor Tom Simpson, who taught entrepreneurship at GU.
Neblett couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday night.
Green Cupboards sold eco-friendly home, health and family products online. After acquiring Ecomom.com in 2013, the company name was changed to Etailz.
Sales at Etailz grew from $27 million to $93 million from 2013 to 2015, Trans World Entertainment said in the news release. For the last 12 months, revenue was $116 million, it said. Etailz made Inc. 500’s “Fastest Growing Businesses” list in 2013 and 2014.
The company operates five niche websites and specializes in helping brands sell online, working with more than 2,000 manufacturers and distributors and selling more than 30,000 separate products. It’s a top 10 retailer on Amazon.com.
Trans World paid $36.2 million in cash and issued 5.7 million shares of its stock when the deal closed on Friday.
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