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🠈  The Children's Place  🠊

The Children's Place

The Children's Place is a chain selling merchandise for children from zero to twelve. The chain has grown to over a thousand stores in North America.

The company was founded in 1969 by David Pulver and Clinton Clark. Funding Universe describes the pair as Harvard Graduates looking for an alternative to working for big business.

The pair investigated different markets before setting on the idea of dedicated children stores in shopping malls. This was an untapped niche and the chain grew to 65 with annual sales of $50M when the company went public.

Federated Department Stores bought the chain in 1982. The founders trained their replacements and left as they did not want to work for a big corporation.

The Children's Place continued to grow by 20 stores a year. Federated created a sister company called The Accessory Place. The stores lost focus under corporate ownership and soon began losing its market share to discount stores.

Federated sold the chain to a group of investors led by Ezra Dabah. Dabah grew the chain to 500 stores in the 1990s. Despite the growth, expenses kept ahead of earnings and the chain filed for bankruptcy in 1994. The store reorganized and shifted focus from high priced goods to medium priced goods.

The company went public in 1997 on the NASDAQ with the symbol PLCE. The company was hoping to raise $70M but only raised $50M. This money went to paying down debt.

The chain eventually found a sweet point between fashion and price and began growing again. It now has over a thousand stores.

In 2013, a garment factory that provided clothes for Children's Place at the Rana Plaza outside Bangladesh collapsed killing over a thousand workers. The Children's Place has since invested in efforts to improve working conditions.

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