The Backroom: Why is the idea of splitting off e-commerce so popular all of a sudden? - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, November 1, 2021

The Backroom: Why is the idea of splitting off e-commerce so popular all of a sudden?


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 PodcastsStitcheriHeartRadio 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 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.

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Editor's note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.


Retail Dive Staff, Khareem Sudlow