Dillard’s invests in Fayetteville company

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 103 views 

Dillard’s Inc. announced a $4 million strategic investment with Acumen Brands, an e-commerce company based in Fayetteville, Ark.

“We are excited to partner with Acumen Brands, underscoring our continuing commitment to the growth of www.dillards.com. We are impressed with this young company’s accomplishments in the ecommerce arena to date and we look forward to collaborating with this highly talented team as we further develop our online presence,” said Dillard’s President Alex Dillard.

Little Rock-based Dillard’s has been accelerating its investments in an online presence. In the last two years, it revamped aspects of its IT department to capitalize on online sales. It has upgraded its shopping web site, and the upscale retailer has been working to open a new Internet fulfillment center in Maumelle, Arkansas later this year.

With Acumen, Dillard’s has invested $4 million in Series B preferred stock, part of a $5 million round of growth financing which also included participation from existing investors Noro-Moseley Partners, BLH Venture Partners, the Gravity Fund and the Arkansas Risk Capital Matching Fund.

Founded in 2009, Acumen Brands is an e-commerce company that operates twelve online retailers supported by proprietary software and advanced fulfillment systems. Some of its online storefronts include www.scrubshopper.com, www.toughweld.com, and www.countryoutfitter.com.

“We are honored to work with Dillard’s in their efforts to grow their online business, and we look forward to learning from their vast experience and success as we work to shape the future of online commerce,” said Acumen CEO John James.

According to a Dillard’s press release, Acumen will offer “technological marketing services and support to enhance Dillard’s online presence.”

Dillard’s Vice President Kent Burnett will serve on the Acumen board to provide strategic guidance for the company. In his role at Dillard’s, Mr. Burnett is the company’s senior executive in charge of information technology and ecommerce.

Fayetteville-based Acumen Brands was founded in 2009 with four employees and a single store selling medical uniforms. Today, the company operates twelve separate online stores in twelve different niche categories and has seventy employees.