Tai Lopez — whose Web site hawks wisdom for Web entrepreneurs on “traffic mastery” and “Instagram hacks” — has launched a new company, Retail Ecommerce Ventures, that’s shelling out tens of millions of dollars for a growing assortment of down-and-out retail brands. And he’s been keen to broadcast REV’s deals to his more than 10 million social-media followers.
Lopez and Mehr are also co-founders of FarmersCart, an online site that sells meat and other food and household products; and Mentorbox, a subscription service for business and self-development books and courses.
Mehr and Lopez, in a video on the REV website, explain that they see retail’s current troubles as a golden opportunity to buy distressed brands “for pennies on the dollar” and then resurrect them as re-energized e-commerce brands.
“Yesterday I wired $31 million to buy the company Pier 1 Imports. That’s fun,” Lopez said in a rambling, 23-minute Facebook video he posted July 31, leaning against the side of his pickup truck. “It’s good to be underestimated, my friend.”
REV won a bankruptcy court bidding war for the Pier 1 assets, outbidding private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, citing persons familiar with the bankruptcy auction.
Part of Lopez and Mehr’s strategy for revitalizing failed brick and mortar retail brands is to connect them with a new generation of online shoppers. They definitely know more about how to do that than Pier 1’s former executives. But they will still face the challenges that killed Pier 1, particularly stiff competition from Target TGT +0.8% and HomeGoods, the two retailers who made legions of previously loyal Pier 1 fans abandon that brand.