While consumer confidence and overall sales continue to slowly improve, retail executives continue to grapple with industry pressures. Amid tentative growth, there remain serious concerns about risks in the retail labor market, and these concerns have been growing. Continue reading
Last month, we rolled out our annual Retail RiskFactor Report analyzing the risk factors listed in the most recent 10-Ks of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. We found that regulatory issues, labor concerns and risks related to cyber security are all top of mind for retailers this year. Learn more about the study’s findings in our new infographic:
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Earlier this month, I was privileged to speak on a panel at the Imperial Capital Consumer Summit about securing financing for consumer products companies. While a company looking to grow—and looking to secure the capital to do so—might be tempted to focus on external factors (debt markets, demand, potential financing partners, etc.), it’s perhaps more important for them to look inward first and get their own house in order. If the value proposition is strong and the company has done its homework to prepare, the transaction will move forward with far fewer obstacles.
The first step a company must take before it seeks external financing is to understand the point in its lifecycle and what the appropriate next steps are. A company should consider the following questions before moving forward: Continue reading
It’s been just over three years since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in what would become the most devastating offshore oil spill in American history.
While myriad industries were affected by the disaster, the retail sector was hit particularly hard. Of the top 50 firms on the STORES Top 100 Retailers list, nearly 9 in 10 have operations in areas potentially covered for damages under the settlement agreement reached between BP and victims of the spill. BP estimates the total cost of the settlement could climb as high as $7.8 billion—and retailers are likely to claim a good portion of those funds. Continue reading
For the past seven years, we’ve combed through the 10-K filings of the 100 largest retailers to determine what risks are impacting the industry the most. Over the years, the survey has provided a pulse on how retailers are feeling about internal and external threats to their business, and we’ve seen consumer spending and labor risks rise and fall as the economy retracted and recovered. Continue reading
As we near the halfway mark for Q2 2013, it appears that the retail industry is continuing its modest, yet steady, recovery. Continuing the trend of the first quarter, retail sales have been slowly inching upward, though certainly not at the rate that retailers would like to see. Most recently, retailers reported 5 percent growth in their April same-store sales (excluding drug store purchases), and overall retail sales grew by about 0.1 percent in April. While neither of these numbers are stellar, they do suggest that the retail industry is continuing to stabilize alongside the U.S. economy as a whole. Continue reading
Earlier this year, we released our 2013 Retail Compass Survey of CFOs, which found that retail CFOs are cautious for the year ahead. Now that we’re finally starting to shake off the remnants of a long winter, we can begin to evaluate how the second quarter of 2013 may be meeting or missing CFOs’ expectations.
Overall, it seems that retail sales this year have been slow to pick up, and industry hiring is waning following the end of the holiday season. Retailers may have been right in moderating their expectations for this year. Take a look at our infographic below to see what else CFOs think the year has in store for their industry: Continue reading
Long gone are the days when diners leave with take-out in Styrofoam boxes and when restaurant garbage is thrown away in one, unsorted trash bin. Using recyclable packaging and sorting trash into the black, blue and green bins have become common practices for most restaurants seeking to improve their sustainability credentials. However, this is only a start, and there are many green initiative options available to restaurants. As with any initiative, restaurants must consider the costs and the desires of their customers. Though the possibilities are endless, restaurants should scale the extent to which they adopt an initiative in order to best fit its business needs. Some popular sustainability initiatives that many restaurants today have adopted include: Continue reading
Private equity investment in the consumer products and services (B2C) industry has waned over the past few years, as consumer spending has been unsteady. According to Pitchbook, aside from 2009, 2012 was one of the slowest years for B2C private equity deal flow in the last decade (2012: 364 deals; 2009: 331 deals), despite a flurry of activity in the fourth quarter spurred by the anticipation of higher tax rates in 2013. However, the retail sector has slowly been recovering its piece of the consumer pie. In 2012, retail accounted for 30 percent of total capital invested in B2C companies, up from just 18 percent from 2011. Continue reading
As we’ve discussed in earlier posts, our annual Retail Compass Survey of CFOs found that the retail industry is poised for another year of heavy deal flow with 94% of retail CFOs surveyed expecting M&A activity to increase or remain steady in 2013. With such a high expectation of M&A activity, it is important for CFOs involved in these transactions to understand the post-acquisition dispute issues that often arise after closing. If these issues are proactively considered before an agreement is reached, CFOs can minimize the chances of being distracted with such disputes post-closing and can instead focus on integrating the newly acquired business, driving operational efficiency and setting the company on a path for growth. Continue reading