Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
Ripping apart e-commerce and brick-and-mortar operations is the newest shiny toy in retail, at least as far as Wall Street is concerned. Saks Fifth Avenue has already demonstrated how lucrative it can be, having attracted $500 million from a private equity firm earlier this year when it spun off its online business; a few weeks later, the off-price Saks Off 5th business went next, snagging $200 million from a group of investors led by the same firm. The new Saks.com pure-play could be enriched even more if it goes forward with a rumored IPO. And now activist investors are reportedly pushing for Macy's and Kohl's to consider the idea.
As Retail Dive Senior Reporter Daphne Howland researched a deep dive into how the Saks split works and why department stores are being targeted for this treatment, Sears often came up. On this episode of The Backroom, Senior Reporter Ben Unglesbee, who has covered Sears extensively, provides insight into how the financial engineering there might shed light on the current buzz, as Howland shares some of what she learned reporting her upcoming story, which will be published Monday.
- Macy's is reportedly being pushed to spin off its e-commerce business: Should any retailer do that?
- Is the never-ending Sears saga finally reaching its closing chapters?
- Private equity pours $500M into Saks Fifth Avenue's e-commerce spinoff
- With $200M from private equity, Saks Off 5th online will go it alone
- Saks e-commerce company preps IPO: WSJ
Editor's note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.