Editor's note: As part of our partnership with PBS's Nightly Business Report, TheStreet's Jeanine Poggi joined NBR Tuesday (watch video and read transcript here) to discuss the recent merger activity in retail -- and which companies could be next.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- VF Corp.'s (VFC) $2.2 billion acquisition of Timberland (TBL) revealed a new trend emerging in retail mergers and acquisitions: the interest in retail brands rather than retail stores."By purchasing a brand, an acquirer is able to carefully expand the distribution platform instead of entering into economically bad leases, gain instant space and relationships at wholesale and create lifestyle product platforms," says Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi. The buyout of Volcom ( VLCM) by private-equity firm PPR for $607.5 million in April is another example of this trend. The retail landscape has been ripe for buyouts, both strategic in nature and from private equity. Deals were kick-started at the end of 2010 with the acquisitions of J.Crew, Gymboree and Jo-Ann Stores.