GB Merchant Partners and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill Acquire Things Remembered

Press Release

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, OH; BOSTON, MA and NEW YORK – [September 29, 2006] -- GB Merchant Partners, LLC, the private equity affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (“BRS”) today announced the acquisition of Things Remembered, Inc., the leading specialty retailer of personalized giftware for all celebratory occasions. This business was purchased from Cole National Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Luxottica Group S.p.A.

Headquartered in Highland Heights, Ohio, Things Remembered is the nation's largest personalized gift chain. The Company provides solutions for all gift-giving occasions through more than 650 stores across the U.S. as well as its catalogs and website, thingsremembered.com. Throughout its 40 year history, creative engraved and monogrammed gifts have contributed to the company’s strong brand name and loyal customer following. Things Remembered generated revenues of approximately $300 million in 2005.

“Things Remembered offers very attractive growth potential, because it is a uniquely positioned specialty gift retailer with a differentiated value proposition,” said Mark Schwartz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gordon Brothers Group and Managing Member of GB Merchant Partners. “We look forward to building on the Company’s history of success and providing it with it with the collective retail and investment expertise needed to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities that lie ahead.”

“Things Remembered is an established mall-based retailer and one of the only national retail chains with the ability to personalize gifts on-site,” commented Tom Baldwin, Managing Director of BRS. “As a standalone business, the Company will be in a much better position to pursue a focused growth strategy. We look forward to partnering with management and Things Remembered’s Associates to develop the strategies and programs that will drive continued growth and success.”

“Partnering with GB Merchant Partners and BRS will enable Things Remembered to accelerate its growth plans,” stated Suzanne Sutter, President of Things Remembered. “Their consumer products and retail expertise, track record in growing businesses and strategic guidance will be invaluable resources in enabling the business to capitalize on the growing demand for personalized gifts.”

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Contacts:
For GB Merchant Partners:
Alex Stanton
Stanton Crenshaw Communications
(212) 780-1900

Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co.:
Paul Kaminski
(212) 521-3700

Things Remembered, Inc.:
Suzanne Sutter
(440) 473-2000

Things Remembered, Inc.
Things Remembered (www.thingsremembered.com), based in Highland Heights, Ohio, began over 40 years ago as a small engraving and services shop called “Can Do”. Today, Things Remembered has grown into the nation’s leading, and most successful, retailer of personalized gifts with more than 650 locations across the U.S. The Company provides gift solutions for all gift-giving occasions through mall based locations, the Internet and catalogs.

GB Merchant Partners
GB Merchant Partners, LLC (www.gbmerchantpartners.com) is the private equity affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, a 103-year old firm that provides a broad range of services to retail and consumer product companies. GBMP invests in companies through its 1903 Equity Fund, L.P., leveraging Gordon Brothers’ consumer products and retail expertise. Current portfolio companies include Andrew Marc, a designer and marketer of branded outerwear; Spencer Gifts, a 700 store gifts/novelty retailer; Laura Secord, a leading Canadian retailer and wholesaler of chocolate; and Party America, the second largest party goods retailer in the U.S. Past investments have included Restoration Hardware, a branded specialty retailer of home furnishings and decorative merchandise; Bargain Shop, a Canadian discount retailer of general merchandise; and Party City Corp., the nation’s largest party goods chain.

About Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Company
BRS (www.brs.com) is a New York based private equity investment firm with approximately $1.2 billion under management. BRS was founded in 1995 and has since invested in over 20 companies across multiple industries, with a particular focus on multi-unit retailers and consumer services businesses. Present and prior BRS retail investments include: the Marshall Retail Group (a specialty retailer focused on the gaming sector), Levtran Enterprises/Down Town Locker Room (a footwear and apparel retailer focused on urban markets), and Totes Isotoner (which, in addition to designing and distributing umbrellas, gloves, footwear and other products, operates a network of over 100 retail outlet stores). BRS multi-unit consumer service business experience includes investments in multiple restaurant concepts such as California Pizza Kitchen, Au Bon Pain, Corner Bakery, McCormick & Schmicks and others; and non-restaurant service businesses including Town Sports International (which operates over 140 fitness clubs under the New York Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs brand names).

About Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a global leader in eyewear, with nearly 5,700 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China and Europe and a strong brand portfolio that includes Ray-Ban, the best selling sun and prescription eyewear brand in the world, as well as, among others, license brands Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Prada, Versace and Polo Ralph Lauren, beginning January 2007, and key house brands Vogue, Persol, Arnette and REVO. In addition to a global wholesale network that touches 130 countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Asia-Pacific, and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group's products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based high-quality manufacturing plants and in the only two China-based plants wholly-owned by a premium eyewear manufacturer. For fiscal year 2005, Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX; MTA: LUX) posted consolidated net sales of euro 4.4 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.