The Merging of Retail

In blog

“Is bigger the future of retail?”

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2015 has seen a number of sizeable retail M&A activity, , with large deals of household names including the luxurious Net-a-Porter by Yoox, mall behemoth Simon Property for rival Macerich and, most recently, classic women’s retailer Ann Taylor by Ascena Retail.

Has Ascena hit on something that others will follow? We are most interested in their acquisition as it reminds us of the flair of European luxury stalwarts Kering, LVMH and Richemont. The three companies ~100 brands represent 90% of the clothes, shoes, watches worn and champagne consumed at the toniest establishments. Similar to Kerings beginnings as a construction materials company, and its eye towards the future, Ascena too has realized their need to grow in order to compete and thrive. What started as a few Dress Barn stores some 50 years ago has quietly evolved into a portfolio of 3,400 stores of various brands catering to women and children under the umbrella Ascena Retail, and we believe they are hungry for more. This is the new Ascena and we believe the future of retail.

Ascena Porfolio      Merged

While there is something that is lost as companies get bigger, the acquired benefits is what we believe will be absolutely necessary to survive in the rapidly changing retail environment. For example, we love the boutique yoga brands championed by lululemon like Zobha and Lily Lotus; however it will be difficult to compete with Gap’s ATHLETA brand or the VF Corp acquired Lucy Activewear. This is the future of retailing – using scale to drive synergies and enhance consumer experiences. The current wave of retail acquisitions is just the beginning, making smaller brands have to distinguish themselves, get acquired or struggle to survive.

To your success,


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