UPDATE: March 11, 2019: Things Remembered completed its sale to giftware and home décor business Enesco, according to a company press release. Online, direct mail, and B2B retail operations and 176 of its stores will continue under the Things Remembered brand. The move will preserve 1,400 jobs.
Things Remembered on Wednesday announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, but the personalized gifts retailer has already found a buyer.
The mall-based retailer has executed an agreement to sell most of its business to Enesco, which sells giftware, home décor and accessories through third-party retailers, according to a company press release. The transaction amount was not disclosed.
The deal "will preserve many jobs across Things Remembered stores, home office, fulfillment center, and e-commerce operations," the company also said.
Its deal with Enesco, which has contracts with several artists and brands for the design and production of its own gift products, could circumvent that — and just makes sense. The company is based in Itasca, Illinois, has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, China and Hong Kong, and serves markets in Europe, the Americas, Canada, Australia and Asia.
The deal will allow the retailer to "reinvest in our marketing and personalization technology, and to reinvent our in‑store experience," Things Remembered CEO Nelson Tejada said in a statement, noting that the company has "navigated an extremely difficult operating environment over the past few years."
It was a close call for the gifts retailer, which is 40 years old but was acquired in 2012 by private equity firm Madison Dearborn from two other PE firms, according to an earlier press release. Madison Dearborn exited that investment in 2017, the firm last month told Retail Dive in an email. Like many PE-backed retailers, Things Remembered is burdened with debt, which Reuters last month pegged at about $120 million.
Leadership has also been upended more than once, as several top employees have come and gone in recent years, according to the LinkedIn pages of several past executives. Tejada last year made the decision to sell on Amazon in an attempt to chase more customers.