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Bassett Expands E-commerce Reach with Noa Home Acquisition

Virginia-based Bassett Furniture Industries expands its online retail reach with the acquisition of Canadian e-commerce furniture retailer Noa Home, Inc.

Bassett has traditionally operated primarily in brick-and-mortar retail, both with its 92 company- and licensee-owned stores and wholesale business with more than 700 accounts in the United States and abroad. The acquisition of Noa, which is headquartered in Montreal and has additional operations in Canada, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, will allow Bassett to expand its global footprint while also beefing up its presence online.

“We are excited to add the digital commerce ability and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Noa Home management team to the Bassett portfolio,” said Rob Spilman, Bassett chairman and CEO. “The acquisition will provide Bassett with a greater online presence and will allow us to attract more digitally native consumers.”

E-commerce has become increasingly important to traditional furnishings companies like Bassett, particularly with the advent of online direct-to-consumer competition. A recent study by ReportLinker found that furniture is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce categories, with an estimated value of $27.74 billion in 2021. The category is expected to grow to $40.74 billion by 2030, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2022.

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Noa was founded in 2016 by Jeremy Kopek, who previously served as VP of Canadian furniture retailer Structube, and Jean-Claude Renaud, who counded e-commerce site Vie Urbaine. The company generated $19.1 million (Canadian) in revenue during fiscal year 2021.

Noa’s purchase price included cash payments of $2.0 million (Canadian) paid to Kopek and Renaud, along with approximately $5.7 million (Canadian) for the repayment of existing debt. Noa’s co-founders will also have the opportunity to receive additional annual cash payments of $1.33 million (Canadian) per year for the following three fiscal years based on established increases in net revenues and achieving certain internal EBITDA goals.

The deal comes after Basset in March finalized the $87 million sale that gave most of its Zenith Freight Lines assets to J.B. Hunt, with the trucking giant continuing to offer the retailer its logistics services.

In discussing second-quarter earnings in June, Spilman said the “strategic” deal consolidated a “largely family-owned and relatively small, dedicated furniture carrier network” in a move he described as “inevitable” while forging a “strategic alliance” with the “technologically and operationally sophisticated behemoth, J.B. Hunt.”

“This alliance affords the opportunity for us to open the aperture to a new world of service and resource access that can be game changing for our retail customers, stores, and the end user consumer,” he added.

Though Bassett saw the potential in offloading its trucking subsidiary, rival Ashley went in the polar opposite direction by acquiring a logistics business with a strong footprint in the Pacific Northwest.

For the second quarter ended May 28, Bassett’s revenue jumped 17 percent and operating profits surged 55.4 percent from a year ago. However, the company struggled with the “impossible” task of asking customers to pay higher prices in order to offset rising sourcing and manufacturing costs that “our vendors have levied on us,” Spilman said in June.