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Solano County-based industrial clothing retailer Work World acquired by Gart Capital Partners

Work World, a Vacaville-based workwear retailer with nearly two dozen California and Nevada locations, has been acquired by private-equity investment firm out of Denver.

The deal with Gart Capital Partners positions the chain "for significant future growth," according to the announcement Thursday.

Dan Meyer, a co-owner of Work World and its general manager since it started in 1990, will continue in his leadership role and as an investor alongside Gart Capital Partners after the transaction. The company has grown from its original location in Fairfield in 1990 to 23 locations across California and northern Nevada. That includes two stores in Santa Rosa and the two in Solano County.

“Helping small businesses and their workers to work safer, better and more comfortably is our focus and we look forward to doing that on an even larger scale going forward,” Meyer said in the announcement.

The specialty retailer carries safety footwear, work apparel brands and personal protective equipment from brands such as Carhartt, Timberland Pro, Dickies, Keen Utility, Wolverine, Caterpillar, Ben Davis, Wrangler, Levi's, 5.11 and Ariat. In addition to the stores, the company has business-to-business sales with small- and medium-sized firms.

“Gart Capital Partners identified Work World as one of the leading specialty retailers of workwear products in America…," said partner Alex Gart. The growth plan includes expanding into existing and new markets via new stores and strategic acquisitions. “It is clear that Work World's customers value the company's broad but dedicated selection and strong customer service, keystone attributes for a specialty retail concept.”

Gart said it focuses on lower-middle-market consumer and service-oriented investments. It's a division of The Gart Companies, a family investment office with diversified holdings, which has made over 100 site-level acquisitions and opened more 200 new stores for Gart Brothers Sporting Goods Company, Specialty Sports Ventures, Running Specialty Group, Bag N Baggage, and GolfTEC.

Gart Brothers grew by picking up sports retail chains Sportmart, Oshman's and Sports Authority through mergers. In 2006, Sports Authority was sold, and a decade later its intellectual property was purchased in bankruptcy court by Dick's Sporting Goods.

D.A. Davidson & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor to Work World in the transaction.

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