Cimpress Makes Majority Equity Investment in VIDA & Co.

VIDA is a retailer that specializes in producing apparel, accessories and home décor items on-demand.

Top 40 distributor Cimpress (asi/162149), parent company of Vistaprint and National Pen, has acquired a majority stake in a San Francisco-based retail company that provides apparel, accessories and home décor products on-demand. Netherlands-headquartered Cimpress said it paid $29 million for VIDA & Co.

Robert Keane, CEO of Cimpress 

“We are investing in VIDA because of its innovative and fast-moving approach to disrupting the large market for retail-grade consumer products via mass customization,” said Robert Keane, Cimpress Founder and CEO. “VIDA pushes the boundaries of where Cimpress has historically operated, and thus opens the door for us to expand our mass customization efforts into new and different markets.”

Described as a “curator of creative voices,” VIDA works with more than 100,000 designers from 150 countries to create unique clothing, accessories and home décor products that are produced on a made-to-order basis. VIDA has collaborated with brands and personalities that include Cher, the Golden Globes and the Museum of Modern Art. The company also recently inked a special collaboration with Lord & Taylor to launch an art-inspired accessories and home collection featuring VIDA artists from around the world. 

Cimpress’ acquisition is relevant to the promotional products industry, in part, because it illustrates how a leading distributor is diversifying and branching out into new business ventures. Still, Cimpress told Counselor that VIDA’s operations will not cross over into the promo sector. “This investment is not related to the promotional products market,” Paul McKinlay, vice president of corporate communications for Cimpress, said to Counselor.

VIDA Founder/CEO Umaimah Mendhro and her team of 13 will remain, guiding the firm over the long term. “VIDA will remain autonomous while gaining access to the shared strategic capabilities of Cimpress, such as technology and procurement,” Cimpress said in a statement.

Mendhro is excited about the partnership. “With the innovations in rapid manufacturing and mass customization, a growing global creative community, and clear demand from consumers for unique products that are made in a responsible way, VIDA is in a unique position to partner with Cimpress and benefit from its technology and mass-customization infrastructure to build the retail of the future,” she said.

With estimated 2017 North American promotional products sales of $240 million, Cimpress ranked 6th on Counselor’s latest list of the largest distributors in the industry.

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