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CSN gets financing for jobs in Boston

Posted on June 26, 2011

CSN said in a press release that it has gotten financing to possibly create jobs in Boston, among other initiatives.

CSN Stores (www.csnstores.com), the second-largest online retailer of home goods in the U.S. (now larger than Crate&Barrel), is announcing its “first round” of $165 million, generated from four leading private equity and venture capital firms. The is the first institutional money CSN has raised in its nine-year history. It will expedite CSN’s expansion efforts and bolster the company’s brand new plan to consolidate its catalog under a new and more memorable brand, Wayfair.com.

On the New Investors: Four prestigious investors will join CSN’s board and will be active advisors in its business now and a four or five years down the road when the company will likely consider an IPO. The investors, hand-chosen by CSN’s founders, are Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, HarbourVest Partners, and Great Hill Partners. We can also give you names and numbers for partners who can talk to the investment and CSN’s prospects moving ahead.

On the Expansion: CSN is no stranger to growth, and has been profitable every year since its 2002 inception. In fact, CSN grew more than 50 percent from 2009 to 2010, with sales of $380 million, and CSN has grown another 56 percent in Q1, 2011 compared to Q1, 2010. At that rate, CSN is on track to well surpass the half-billion dollar mark by year’s end. Part of the $165 million round will go toward expanding international opportunities, as well as CSN’s catalog of 3 million+ products. Also the funding will support appropriate acquisitions of other Internet companies specializing in categories that would benefit CSN.

On the Rebranding: In the July/August timeframe, CSN Stores will begin to transition into Wayfair.com, a much more memorable name and brand, which will literally “have it all for the home.” CSN Stores is not the easiest name to remember and CSN’s founders decided it’s time to create a new brand that consumers can more easily relate to and remember. The Wayfair.com site will have an entirely new, very updated and inviting look and will bring 200 current CSN sites (Luggage.com, Strollers.com, Cookware.com and many others) under Wayfair.com. Of course, investment dollars will also go toward more brand marketing to launch and promote Wayfair.com later this summer and well into 2012.

Considering that the overall furniture/home goods market is $500 billion and online retailers only have seven percent of that pie, Wayfair will be poised to become the dominant player, making online purchases of everything from beds, tables, sofas and even Gazebos, more inviting to consumers.

On Our Ongoing Hiring Surge: CSN continues to be a hiring hotspot, with 800 people currently employed, and many positions on the horizon. Last year, we hired 250 people. So far this year, we’ve hired at least another 150. And we’re estimating that we’ll recruit as many as another 200 more throughout the remainder of 2011. We would be happy to tell you more about our recent facility expansions (a new distribution and operations center in Ogden, Utah) and specific career opportunities, both in Boston and in Ogden, as well.

It still remains to be seen if CSN is hiring for IT jobs in Boston or another sector.