Society Brands, an ecommerce aggregator built for and by founders, today announced the acquisition of Milford-based Yankee Toy Box, an online retailer of licensed-character clothing, footwear and accessories focusing primarily on the children’s market. The retailer licenses well-known brand names such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Marvel, Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss, and many more.
Yankee Toy Box sells its products online through Amazon, its own website, and a growing number of internet-based retail channels. The retailer sources quality goods from manufacturers and distributors that hold rights to license products on behalf of recognizable brands associated with children’s programming, motion pictures, comic book series, and other media.
“We chose Society Brands to acquire Yankee Toy Box because we wanted to partner with a like-minded company,” said Lisa Zerr, Co-Founder and Brand President of Yankee Toy Box. “With Society Brands being a product-centric aggregator, they recognize the importance of relationships, both internal and outside our community. With this partnership, we are looking forward to taking the Yankee Toy Box brand to a level we always dreamed was possible.”
Prior to acquisition, Lisa Zerr served as the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of Yankee Toy Box. Having co-founded the company with her husband Kermit Zerr, who also served as Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel, the pair have taken the company from its humble beginnings as a home-based business to a significant force in the licensed-character apparel and footwear market segments. More than a decade ago, Lisa recognized an unfulfilled marketplace need and sought to fill the void with quality goods tailored to meet the needs of children and their parents.
Both Lisa and Kermit Zerr are active in their local New Hampshire community. Lisa has served with the Rotary Club of Bedford and supports Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, local little league, and youth basketball, football, and other sporting leagues. The Zerr’s consistently donate goods to the local school district, several local church organizations, and to children in Ukraine, Bosnia, and other international ministries. Kermit has acted as Chairman of the Bedford Community Church Board of Directors and as a member of the Bedford Conservation Commission. Kermit also served his country as a soldier with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment aboard an M-1 Abrams main battle tank.
“We are thrilled to welcome Yankee Toy Box into the Society Brands portfolio and have Lisa stay on board as Brand President to lead its growth with the support of our full shared services ecosystem,” said Michael Sirpilla, CEO of Society Brands. “While going through our due diligence on Yankee Toy Box, we have been able to watch the business and owners continue to grow the company despite facing challenges. We see strong growth potential in the company and its co-founders bring amazing management experience that will be an asset to the diverse ‘society’ of entrepreneurs we are building.”
Yankee Toy Box has experienced exponential growth within the past several years as the brand successfully navigated through the pandemic and continued to grow despite challenges with logistics in Q4 of 2021. Top line sales has grown 35% in the past three years and has continued to grow in the first half of 2022, in addition to growing margin by 5%. With Society Brands’ acquisition, Yankee Toy Box is positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory and expand its product offerings and sales channels.
Since its first institutional capital raise of $205M led by i80 Group in March of this year, Society Brands now has six brands in its portfolio, spanning across a variety of consumer product categories. The ecommerce aggregator is continuing to expand its portfolio and accelerate growth as they’ve seen success with their “founder-friendly” business model.
Society Brands is a tech-enabled consumer products company that acquires ecommerce native brands that primarily sell on Amazon and their own DTC sites. The company was built for and by founders, providing entrepreneurs meaningful liquidity while at the same time affording them an opportunity to stay on board, build their brand and roll equity into Society Brands’ platform. Society Brands is headquartered in Canton, Ohio and has offices in Kalamazoo, Mich., Rogers, Ark. and Newport Beach, Calif. For more information, please visit www.societybrands.com.