Dover Saddlery Plans $40 Million IPO

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The largest U.S. direct marketer of equestrian products is planning to go public. Dover Saddlery, Littleton, MA, filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 26 to raise $40 million.


The 30-year-old company sells riding and horse-care products through three retail stores under the Dover Saddlery name and one retail store under the Smith Brothers name. It also mails catalogs and runs a Web site, doversaddlery.com. According to documents filed with the SEC, the company earned $1.9 million last year, up from $1.3 million in 2003.


"We have positioned ourselves to capitalize on the synergies of combining catalog and Internet operations with a retail store channel," the company said in its filing. "By marketing our products across integrated, multiple shopping channels, we have strengthened our brand visibility and brand equity, expanded our customer database and increased revenues, profits and market share. While our catalog has been our primary marketing vehicle to increase Internet and store traffic, each of our channels has reinforced the other and generated additional customers."


New retail locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are among Dover's plans for the money.


In its filing, the company said it has noticed two trends: "Customers who purchased products across all three channels (catalog, Internet and retail stores) have, on average, historically bought nearly three times more than customers who purchased only from a single channel and direct sales to customers within a 30 mile radius of a new store have, within two years of that store opening, exceeded direct sales levels [before] the new store opening."


A date for the IPO hasn't been set. Its stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the DOVR symbol.


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