A Retail IPO? Vitamin Shoppe Makes Bet

One of the last things we expected to hear in this economy is a retailer IPO. But Vitamin Shoppe, which operates 425 units with plans to more than double that number, seeks to raise $143.8 million.

The retailer, mostly owned by private-equity firm Irving Place Capital Management, did not provide a timeline for the measure. The Reuters article says that this is happening as private-equity firms are looking to unload the many companies they purchased a few years back.

GNC, the largest specialty player in the vitamin space with over 5,000 locations worldwide, had a good first quarter in the recession, with same-store sales increasing 5.4%. That retailer is also privately held.

So is it a good time to go public? Are vitamin chains somehow immune to a recession? Or is this more about a private-equity firm looking at its options?


2 Responses to “A Retail IPO? Vitamin Shoppe Makes Bet”

  1. 1 James July 24, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Let’s see, aging population, national debate on health related issues, daily onslaught of health related advice, horrifying remainders of the effects of cancer and other catastrophic disease, medical doctors on talk shows everyday, it is no wonder that vitamins are doing well. I used to live near the Costco in Issaquah, WA. Oriental families were buying vitamins by the shopping cart full and sending them to relatives in the homeland! It might be a good time to buy this stock, thanks for the tip!

  2. 2 Jimmie July 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Holy mackerel. He just said “Oriental:…..

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