Torrid IPO: Everything you need to know about Torrid Holdings

Plus-size US clothing retailer Torrid has completed its IPO, but what's on the cards for the company following the listing? Learn more about the company’s history, strategy and flotation.

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When was the Torrid Holdings IPO?

The Torrid Holdings IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) took place on July 1 2021. The company opened at $23.25 per share, and raised $231 million. The IPO valued the company at $2.3 billion.

Among the organisations that managed the listing are Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities. The ticker symbol for Torrid Holdings is CURV. 

Find out more about IPOs for 2021

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What does Torrid Holdings do?

Torrid is a California-based fashion retailer with both mall and online sales outlets. The company specialises in plus-size (US size 10 and above) apparel, lingerie, and accessories for young women, with a presence across more than 600 stores in upwards of 36 states of the US, as well as a Canadian store established in 2015.

The company was founded in 2001 as a subsidiary of US retail chain Hot Topic, when customer feedback indicated a demand for larger sizes. After the company saw a strong response to its introduction of junior sizes up to 17, it launched a first Torrid store in the Brea area of California, and issued plans for a further 15 American stores for 2002.

The company scaled along with the continuing growth in demand for a more comprehensive plus-size retail offering, and branched off from its private equity-owned parent company Sycamore Partners in 2015 to become Torrid LLC.

Revenues in 2019 reportedly topped $1 billion, but store closures necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic hampered sales figures in 2020, with sales for that year down to some $974 million. The company has more than 7,000 employees and counted some 3 million people among its customer base in 2020.

How does Torrid Holdings make money?

Torrid makes money through the sale of its affordable, on-trend clothing and accessories. Its product lines include shoes, jewellery, shorts, skirts, dresses, hosiery, beauty products, and more, targeted at plus-size females aged from 15-40. The company’s competitors in this space include US brands such as ASOS Curve, Dia & Co, and Maurices.

What is Torrid Holdings's business strategy?

Torrid’s business strategy is based on servicing an area of clothing retail widely seen as historically underserved. Perceptions such as plus-size women being reluctant to buy due to weight loss aspirations or self-esteem issues are often seen as outdated. Today, the commercial viability of well-designed and astutely-marketed plus-size apparel is self-evident, considering the statistic that 68% of US women are plus size (Plunkett Research), with an estimated plus-size market of more than $18 billion.

Given the importance of effective marketing in this space, Torrid places a focus on inclusive language and shared identity throughout its social channels, fostering an atmosphere of togetherness among its customer base, with an aim to grow and maintain an engaged community. Torrid engages with its community through media such as the short film series Torrid Stories, which features the adventures of actress Barbie Ferreira, who shows off Torrid’s lines.     

The company places a high importance on online experience, and uses an AI-powered site search functionality to provide more accurate and consistent results to site users, with the capacity to adjust those results according to visitors’ online behaviour. It continues to seek collaborations with fashion designers, such as the partnership announced in 2020 with Betsey Johnson.

Is Torrid Holdings profitable?

Torrid is profitable as of 2021, with a reported net income of $25 million on sales of $974 billion in 2020, although this figure declined 41% on the previous year due to the aforementioned pandemic restrictions.

Who owns Torrid Holdings?

Torrid Holdings is owned by Sycamore Partners, the New York-based private equity owner of Hot Topic, which also owns brands such as British footwear operator Kurt Geiger, which it acquired in 2015, and US office retail business Staples, which it acquired in 2017. It is unclear at this point if other individuals or organisations also hold a stake in Torrid.

Board of directors of Torrid Holdings

Torrid Holdings has a number of key personnel that have helped progress the company to its current multi-billion-dollar valuation. Here are some of them, correct as of June 25 2021.

Position

Name

CEO/President

Liz Munoz

VP Finance

Chinwe Abaelu

Chief Financial Officer

George Wehlitz

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Salmon

Director of Technical Design

Heather Strobel

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