Kavita Kumar

After starting as a catalog company in 1998, Soft Surroundings has grown rapidly, with sales surging about 30 percent last year to about $150 million, according to the company. Last year, it doubled its number of stores to 10 nationwide. In August, private equity firm Brentwood Associates took a majority interest — 55 percent — in the company in a $150 million deal. With the new partner's resources and expertise, Soft Surroundings is looking to grow its retail footprint. Four or five stores are slated to open this year, and many more may be on the horizon.


As it looks to grow its number of physical stores, Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Soft Surroundings has formed a strategic partnership with a private equity firm, which now has a majority interest in the largely catalog and internet-based retailer. Los Angeles-based Brentwood Associates has taken between a 50 percent and 60 percent interest in the company in a deal valued between $150 million and $200 million that closed last week, said Tom Wilcher, the chief executive of Soft Surroundings.

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