The Covid-19 pandemic may have changed the retail industry forever. An accelerated shift to online shopping even in those industries where uptake was expected to be slower has put renewed scrutiny on the operations of the country’s largest retailers and mall owners. Bankruptcies, failed mergers and volatile valuations have characterized the dealmaking scene in an industry that was already under pressure before the pandemic and is even more so as we come out on the other side. Retailers large and small have been forced to evaluate their liquidity and preserve cash all while monitoring the safety of their employees, figuring out new ways to get products to customers and preparing for a new normal for shopping once allowed to reopen.
But what does all of this mean for the future of M&A in the retail industry? What role will private equity play in accelerating change in retail and the recovery of many companies from the pandemic? How have direct-to-consumer, consignment and peer-to-peer online markets disrupted the retail industry and how will they continue to adapt? What industries are integral to supporting this burgeoning area and how are they contributing to current deal flow? When looking to the future, what subsectors of the industry will see the most new money?
- Dawud Crooms (Senior Counsel, 7-Eleven, Inc.)
- Peter Garran (Partner, Great Hill Partners)
- Adrianne Shapira (Managing Director, Eurazeo Brands)
- Colin Welch (Managing Director, Head of New York and London Offices, TSG Consumer Partners)