Barks, mews, and caws are music to the ears of Pets at Home. The retailer operates about 230 pet-oriented stores throughout the UK, and also offers its own-brand products through a retail Web site. Pets at Home offers veterinary services, called Companion Care, at the majority of its stores. The company also offers 24-hour emergency services as well as ordinary care. Many Pets at Home stores also offer pet behavior training for some animals. Founder Anthony Preston developed the stores' concept in 1991; in 2004 he sold the majority of his stake in the company to private equity firm Bridgepoint. Management and employees retain an almost 20% interest in the company, which is being groomed to go public in 2010.
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. (Skechers), incorporated in 1992, designs and markets Skechers-branded contemporary footwear for men, women and children under several lines. In addition to Skechers-branded lines, the Company also offers eight uniquely branded designer, fashion and street-focused footwear lines for men, women and children. These lines are branded and marketed separately from Skechers and appeal to specific audiences. Its brands are sold through department stores, specialty stores, athletic retailers and boutiques, as well as its e-commerce Website and its own retail stores. Skechers operates 84 concept stores, 83 factory outlet stores and 37 warehouse outlet stores in the United States, and 16 concept stores and two factory outlets internationally.
Swiss Watch International is keeping its eye on the time. The Florida-based company designs and makes timepieces worldwide and distributes or owns watch lines including SWI (Swiss Watch International), Edox, Giordano, Jacques Lemans, Magico, Swiss Legend, Triumph Motorcycles, and Ventura. The firm sells watches to other wholesalers, as well as to retailers. Internet discount retailer Overstock.com buys the majority of its timepiece offerings through Swiss Watch. Well known throughout the watch industry, founder and chairman Eli Ben-Shmuel has his sights set on expanding the company's retail operations. Ben-Shmuel and his three sons run Swiss Watch International.
Tweezerman International has the tools for those who prefer to be highly maintained. The company has supplied celebrities and well-known makeup artists with its Slant Tweezers for a quarter of a century. Founded by government activist Dal LaMagna in 1980 with only the Splintertweeze, Tweezerman makes more than 100 types of personal care implements for men's and women's manicures, pedicures, eyes, and facials. Its products are sold through professional beauty suppliers, as well as cosmetic and department stores, drug store chains (CVS and Walgreen), and specialty retailers nationwide. Zwilling J. A. Henckels, the highly-renowned German-based maker of knives and scissors, bought the company in January 2005.
Eileen Fisher founded Eileen Fisher, Inc. in 1984 in New York. Eileen Fisher -- the woman and the company -- cares about customer's comfort as well as their sense of fashion. The company makes and markets upscale women's business and casual clothing, including eco-friendly items. Eileen Fisher's apparel is sold through about 40 of its namesake boutiques and outlets in about a dozen states, as well as through upscale department and specialty stores (including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus) nationwide and in Canada. The company also offers personal shopping services for US customers.
Tomiya Apparel is all about dressing sharp. The company, headquartered in Tokyo, manufactures tailored men's dress and sports shirts, women's blouses, knit sportswear, and uniform items including pants. Tomiya distributes its products primarily to general merchandise stores, major department stores, and specialty shops. The company, which operates a number of domestic subsidiaries throughout Japan, carries out about 90% of its production in factories in China and other areas of Southeast Asia, most notably Vietnam. Established in 1879, the shirt maker filed for bankruptcy in February 2009 -- citing stagnant sales and falling prices -- and is attempting to reorganize.
Davies Gate was founded by Ellen and Jack Davies in 1992. Davies Gate opens to a very fragrant garden. The personal care products manufacturer offers botanical bar soaps, bath and body products, skin care products, lotions, baby products, candles, and fragrances. Fragrance scents include rose, lavender, hyacinth, bergamot, sugar plum, citrus, and sea grass. Products are available through high-end retailers and through the company's Web site.
Lather Inc. Company makes and markets hair care, skin care, and body products for women, men, and babies. It also sells aromatherapy items and accessories such as pumice stones. Lather sells products through its handful of namesake shops in Arizona, New York, and California; national and international upscale department stores (Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's); QVC; and a catalog. It also wholesales its products and provides them to hotels and resorts. The company is expanding into other states, such as Georgia, by way of a new niche -- airport stores.
The Tranzonic Companies makes and distributes personal care products, cleaning and safety products, and industrial textiles nationwide. It also manufactures private-label and brand-name products (Maxithins, Precious, and Health Guards) for other companies in the same industry and is a major manufacturer of sanitary-napkin dispensing machines. Tranzonic repackages and distributes industrial wiping materials, cleaning chemicals, and disposable work clothing through its CCP Industries subsidiary. Investment firm Linsalata Capital Partners bought Tranzonic in 1998.
Norstar Office Products company specializes in the design and manufacturing of ergonomic office chairs and other seating products. Its products include drafting stools, medical stools, upholstered executive chairs, leather chairs, side chairs, task seating, reception furniture, workstations, conference tables, filing cabinets, and folding chairs and tables. Norstar Office Products, which also does business as Boss Office Products, has taken the chair in the workplace furniture market. Headquartered in California, Boss Office Products also operates a branch in Georgia.
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