🠈 Things Remembered 🠊
Things Remembered is a mall based chain offering gifts and custom engraving. I purchased several engraved items through the years to commemorate anniversaries and special events.
Things Remembered filed chapter 11 in 2019. News reports say they closed most of their stores. Further reports say that a company called Enesco bought the chain and that about 150 stores will remain open.
The company was founded by Joseph Cole who began his career as a key maker in 1926 for Nat'l Key Co. of Cleveland. He then was hired to create a key division for Curtis Industries which offered keys in Sears Parking Lots. Cole then went on to buy out his employers:
The parent company of Things Remembered grew into one of the largest eye wear stores. Luxottica bought the parent company but spun off Things Remembered which fell into decline.
- 1944: Joseph Cole founded Cole National Corp which made keys.
- 195?: Cole bought out the key contracts of Nat'l Key Co. and Curtis Industries to become largest key maker.
- 1958: The company went public.
- 1960: Cole acquired Masco Optical which he turned into the optical department at Sears.
- 1966: Cole opened "Can-Do Shop" which was a kiosk style business that offered keys and custom engraving in malls. (This business was later renamed "Things Remembered.")
- 1983: By 1983, Cole had optical stores. Many were embedded in big box stores including Sears, BJ Wholesale, Montgomery Ward and Target.
- 1984: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts acquired Cole in a deal financed by "junk bonds" issued by Drexel, Burnham and Lambert.
- 1987: The Cole family organized a leveraged buyout to reclaimed the company which had three division: Cole Key, Cole Vision and Things Remembered.
- 1988: The company shuttered the key business.
- 1994: The company had a second IPO to reduce debt.
- 1996: Cole acquired Pearle Vision for $165 million.
- 2002: Cole fired the Arthur Anderson accounting firm and restated earnings.
- 2004: Luxottica acquired Cole for its vision stores.
- 2006: Luxottica sold Things Remembered to investment firms Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co. and GB Merchant Partners for $200 Million.
- 2012: Madison Dearborn Partners acquired the firm for $295 Million.
- The company was structured as TRM Holdings which had a large debt owned by Madison Dearborn.
- 2019: Unable to pay its debt, TRM Holdings filed Chapter 11. Reports say they are closing most stores.
- 2019: Enesco, LLC which manufactures giftware and home décor acquired Things Remembered, Inc..
- Case University - Cole National Corporation (Drawn 2/12/2019)
- Wikipedia - Things Remembered (Drawn 2/12/2019)
- Chicago Tribune - Madison Dearborn Partners buys Things Remembered (Drawn 2/12/2019)
- Phoenix Color - Shopping: Things Remembered
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