Written by Harris Atmar, Steven Begley, Jane Fuerst, Stefan Rickhert, Rodrigo Stelatt, and Madeleine Tjon Pian Gi
As a global pandemic, COVID-19 poses mind-boggling health and humanitarian challenges, and the economic impact on lives and livelihoods of the efforts to contain the virus is the strongest in a century.
Retail is one of the sectors most affected by COVID-19, in both positive and negative ways. Grocers, pharmacies, and e-commerce marketplaces are sustaining consumer access to essentials—food, medication, toiletries, and selected “at home” categories—while striving to protect customers, employees, and suppliers.
At the same time, store closures and sharp declines in discretionary consumer spending have crippled nonessential retail (other non-food, apparel, fashion, and luxury products). Many retailers have already had to make tough choices, including temporarily or permanently closing doors, furloughing employees, and more.
Despite this challenging environment, analyses of past crises have shown that there is still potential for value creation through M&A across industries; for further detail, please see the recent cross-industry article, “The power of through-cycle M&A.”
This article examines trends that are likely to create M&A and partnership opportunities that may enable retailers, brands, and investors to shape the next normal postcrisis.
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