Where were you in 1947? Just coming out of the Pacific Theater? Or perhaps you worked at Bell Laboratories, where the transistor had just been invented? If you were the founder of this historic brand, you were just starting up an American Made manufacturing facility and design center for Men’s Hats – one that withstand the test of time and become one of the most known, most well respected Hat Brands in Men’s Outdoor Fashion. While the original founder has since passed on, his legacy in this iconic brand lives on as a family operation.
Website Closers® presents an exciting business – first time on the market to the general public – with a remarkable 75-year track record of manufacturing high quality men’s hats, including their Outdoor Collection, which has made this company one of the top producers of their stylish and durable Made In America product line.
Focusing on the B2B wholesale market, this company’s products are available in leading retail shops, among businesses operating in the tourism industry, at major theme parks, and in men’s specialty stores. Major commercial enterprises, such as Walt Disney World, Bass Pro Shops, T.J. Maxx and LL Bean, have hats this brand manufactures on their shelves.
Their sales are conducted domestically and internationally, specifically in the US, across Europe, Mexico and South Korea. This is a highly seasoned business with strong profit margins and opportunities to expand sales by introducing new product lines, sales channels and beginning to operate in adjacent verticals.
The company also has a strong eCommerce presence, marketing their hats through their branded Shopify website and on Amazon.com (Vendor Central), where they receive a tremendous number of glowing 5 Star reviews for their quality and workmanship. With a highly respected reputation in the industry, this business is a terrific opportunity for an ambitious buyer, not the least of which because the company has major scale opportunities moving forward, but more importantly, historic brands like this rarely come up.
The company has decades of experience and data. Having been in business for decades, and survived 12 different recessions, the company has perfected its method of designing and manufacturing headwear in the US, as well as exporting their products to buyers in foreign countries. Over the years, the company has become very well known for their quality and value and for maintaining well stocked items that can be quickly shipped anywhere year-round.
As a top wholesale manufacturing company, 50% of their products are made in the US, with raw materials used to make their hats being sourced domestically. For their imported, finished hats, the company has 12 overseas factories and 50 suppliers. Their Made In USA products, including their popular line of outdoor hats, have become their top seller, representing 30% of all sales. Their customers certainly have a lot to pick from, as the brand has launched 300 different styles of men’s hats over the years.
Their wholesale accounts are thriving. With their SKUs having become an attractive item for gift shops and other major retailers, the company now has 400 to 500 active B2B accounts, and enjoys orders that range from as low as $500 to as high as $750,000+, depending on whether the account is a small or big box retailer/wholesaler. While they have contracts for some one-time products, most of their agreements are for ongoing contracts that are billed monthly. Those contracts can be for private label or custom-made hats. They maintain a low churn rate of just 5% on average.
The company offers any type of hat and cap for a variety of activities that can include being outdoors, western style, unique fashions, straw hats, felts, and custom-made hats with private labeling for B2B clients.
While sales often peak during the summer, they do have hats for different seasons, including winter, which has helped keep sales thriving year-round. One of this company’s top growth opportunities includes the continuation of their product line by diversifying to include women’s hats, to seek out new licenses, manufacturing for well-known name brands, and to create additional products in adjacent verticals that will integrate well with their current manufacturing.
The company could also increase their popular Made In The USA collection and seek out licensing for a high-end Italian-made collection.
While a traditional manufacturer, they have embraced the digital age. Like most other major businesses, this one had adopted to the evolution of shopping online. Now they have sales channels on their Shopify website and on their Amazon Vendor Central account, both of which have a tremendous amount of runway in the hands of a buyer with digital marketing expertise.
While the company has relied on traditional marketing techniques through the years – including employing 8 sales representatives, printing an annual catalog and attending trade shows across the country – they also have used digital marketing effectively. The company conducts social media marketing on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and they have developed an SEO program employing popular keywords on their website to boost organic traffic.
But there are many growth opportunities still available via digital marketing, including by the expansion of their social media presence, developing a comprehensive PPC ad program on social media, Google, and Amazon, by developing an influencer and affiliate network, and by creating email and SMS text messaging marketing campaigns to expand their customer base.
Current Ownership. The current owner is the great grandson-in-law of the original founder. He currently focuses on negotiating with importers, selecting and designing new styles, designing catalogs, and working with factory supervisors. Their staff of 50 full-time employees oversees daily operations, including all aspects of customer support – an element of their business they take great pride in keeping elevated to the highest professional level.
The Market. The global apparel market is an enormously profitable one, as consumers with rising incomes look for value clothing. The industry earned $1.5 trillion in 2021 and is projected to reach $2 trillion by 2026, with particularly high customer demand in the United States and China. That includes the equally lucrative global headwear industry, and this company is an example of how hats and caps remain an evergreen product enjoying high profits, while the styles and fashions continue to evolve.
Contact Website Closers today to learn more from our brokers about how this extraordinarily well oiled and seasoned operation will put a superb feather in the cap of any smart buyer.
This Iconic Brand is Represented by:
Tech & Internet M&A