Untuckit has retained investment bank Morgan Stanley in search of a fundraising round that it hopes would value the apparel retailer at more than $600 million, CNBC reports, citing unnamed sources. They added that the brand reports $150 million in annual sales and is profitable. Untuckit declined to comment to Retail Dive.
The company, founded in 2011 based on the premise of perfecting an untucked men's shirt, now operates 50 physical locations in the U.S. and one in Canada. It also has added women's and children's merchandise.
The former pure player plans to open 15 more stores this year, Untuckit said in June when it also announced that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had signed on as an investor. In September, Canadian hockey star Wayne Gretzky also signed on as a partner and investor, smoothing the way for the Canada store location, according to a press release.
Untuckit has moved swiftly from Chairman-Founder Chris Riccobono's initial idea of a men's shirt that could be worn fashionably untucked. Within four years, the company established its first store, and last year it announced plans for 100 brick-and-mortar locations over the ensuing five years.
Untuckit is among a long list of online retailers moving assertively into brick and mortar. Such digital natives are set to open 850 stores in the next five years, according to a report on more than 100 top online retailers from commercial real estate firm JLL that cites plans from mattress retailer Casper to open 200 stores in North America within three years, lingerie startup Adore Me for up to 300 in five years and athleisure footwear company Allbirds for stores in four cities in the next year.
The trend revealed in the JLL report, which also mentions Untuckit, reflects Gartner L2 analysts' prediction a couple of years ago that physical stores are an inevitable tactic in any retail startup's growth strategy. Most of them sell apparel, JLL found, which suggests that the category benefits from in-person shopping. Nearly three quarters (74.3%) are apparel and accessory brands like Bonobos, Untuckit and BaubleBar, according to the report.
The retailer's growth mode extends beyond the expansion of its physical footprint. In October, the company added amenities like mobile checkout to its stores, and in February it tested radio-frequency identification at its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York.