Gump’s Engages Lincoln International to Pursue Capital Investment

Union Square Retail Landmark Has Been Part of San Francisco History Since 1861

SAN FRANCISCO (May 17, 2018) – Gump’s Holdings, LLC, the parent company of the venerable San Francisco retail landmark Gump’s, announced today that its board of directors has engaged Lincoln International as financial advisor to pursue capital investment and other strategic initiatives to maximize the brand’s growth potential.

Located at 135 Post Street in the prestigious Union Square shopping district, Gump’s is a luxury specialty store selling gifts, jewelry, decorative home furnishings and women’s apparel and accessories through its store, website and catalog. A true multi-channel retailer with a national and international clientele, Gump’s direct-to-consumer sales represent more than 75 percent of total sales, more than 90 percent of which originate outside the Bay Area.

“Gump’s is one of the most revered retail brands in the world, with tremendous opportunities for growth and expansion,” said Michael Mosca, Chief Executive Officer. “While our new management team has made excellent progress in the execution of its strategic roadmap, we believe we have reached the point at which an infusion of capital is essential to preserve Gump’s as we know it, and to grow the company in a fast-changing retailing environment by building on its many outstanding attributes.”

Among the growth opportunities that management and the board have identified are:

  • Broaden product offerings to existing, affluent customers and targeted new customers
  • Expand and enhance the company’s digital presence and in-store experience
  • Increase investment in prospecting and media
  • Selectively open stores in cities where significant direct sales already exist
  • Enhance distribution, customer service, and creative services

Gump’s traces its roots to the California Gold Rush era, when founding brothers Solomon and Gustave Gump began to transform their mirror and frame shop into an emporium of high-end goods to meet the demands of the city’s newly minted millionaires. The store rose from the ashes of the 1906 fire that followed the Great Quake and continued to expand its offerings, sending buyers throughout Europe and the Far East to secure the unique, exotic and often rare items – from fine jewelry and jades to exquisite tableware, linens and apparel – that established the store’s reputation as one of San Francisco’s first and foremost purveyors of luxury goods.

The introduction of catalog sales in the 1950s brought Gump’s to a national market. Today, Gump’s mails millions of catalogues annually, under the Gump’s brand and as Gump’s Style, a women’s fashion brand launched in 2011. With the launch of its website in 1999, Gump’s made its unique and ever-evolving collection of luxury goods available to a growing online audience which now represents over half of the company’s direct-to-consumer sales.

“Gump’s represents a rare opportunity to build on a long-established, luxury retailing brand, through modest investment in identified growth opportunities,” said board member John Chachas, of Methuselah Advisors. “The Gump’s brand is solidly positioned among affluent and aspirational consumers, but has been capital-constrained from maximizing the growth potential of sales both to its existing, loyal customer base and to a broader, commensurately high-end population of younger women, as well as men. Under its new senior management team, youthful and yet skilled, specific growth measures have been identified, and in several areas already implemented.”

Additional opportunities for sales growth include modernizing the store with experiential retailing, including food and beverage offerings, and selective store openings in cities where the Gump’s brand is already well-represented through direct-to-consumer marketing sales. Further profit potential exists through investing in deeper relationships with manufacturers of products sold exclusively through Gump’s.

A beloved shopping tradition of generations of San Franciscans and a destination sought out by visitors from around the world, Gump’s continues to play an integral role in Bay Area culture, regularly presenting Gump’s Talks, artist receptions, and trunk shows and partnering with the city’s major arts organizations, including the De Young Museum, SFMoMA, and the San Francisco Fall Art & Antique Show. Its popular wedding registry speaks to its enduring appeal to new generations of customers, while its hallmarks – from its unique selection of bespoke fine jewelry and jade pieces to legendary Christmas displays, impeccable personalized service and signature gold boxes and scarlet ribbons – continue to put it in a class of its own.

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