Skip to main content

Retail Mergers and Acquisitions – The Big Moves

By October 11, 2023No Comments

In recent years, the retail industry has seen a significant number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) taking place. These strategic moves have reshaped the retail landscape, with big names joining forces and smaller players finding new homes. In this article, we will dive into the world of retail M&A, exploring some of the most notable big moves and analyzing the impact they have had on the industry as a whole.

The Rise of E-commerce

Before we delve into the specific mergers and acquisitions, it is essential to understand the driving force behind these moves – the rise of e-commerce. With the advent of technology, online shopping has become increasingly popular, challenging traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. As a result, many companies realized the need to adapt or risk being left behind.

One of the most significant mergers in recent years was the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon in 2017. This move sent shockwaves through the retail industry and signaled Amazon’s serious intent to dominate the grocery market. With Amazon’s vast resources and expertise in e-commerce, Whole Foods has seen substantial improvements in supply chain efficiency and consumer convenience.

The Battle for Survival

In a highly competitive retail landscape, mergers and acquisitions have also become a means of survival for struggling companies. Take Sears, for example. Once a dominant force in retail, Sears struggled to keep up with changing consumer preferences and the rise of e-commerce giants. Their acquisition by Transform Holdco in 2019 provided a glimmer of hope for the struggling retailer, allowing them to continue operating under a new entity.

Another notable acquisition was the merger between The Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank in 2014. The two companies, both struggling against declining sales, decided to join forces to create a stronger presence in the men’s clothing market. This strategic move allowed them to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance their competitiveness in an increasingly challenging retail environment.

Consolidation and Expansion

While some M&A deals are driven by the need to survive, others are fueled by the desire to expand and consolidate market share. In 2020, LVMH, a luxury goods conglomerate, finalised its acquisition of Tiffany & Co., a renowned jewelry brand. This move showcased LVMH’s ambition to strengthen its position in the high-end retail sector and further diversify its brand portfolio.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have witnessed large retailers acquiring smaller, niche brands to add diversity to their offerings. Walmart’s acquisition of in 2016 reflects this trend. By bringing into its fold, Walmart aimed to tap into the e-commerce expertise of the smaller company and attract a younger, tech-savvy customer base.


Retail mergers and acquisitions have become an integral part of the ever-evolving retail landscape. These strategic moves are driven by the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences, survive in a highly competitive market, or expand market share. With technology continuing to reshape the retail industry, we are likely to witness more M&A activity in the years to come. As consumers, we can expect new alliances, shifts in market dynamics, and further diversification in the products and services offered by retailers.