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The 4 Big Themes That Will Define Fashion Mergers & Acquisitions in 2018

When it comes to fashion-retail mergers and acquisitions, the past three years have been robust. (Michael Kors snapped up Jimmy Choo; Coach bought Kate Spade; Walmart picked up ShoeBuy, Bonobos and ModCloth — just to name a few.)
The dramatic digital revolution has created fertile ground for wheeling and dealing among retailers as a survival mechanism for the weak and a power play for the strong.
But as the “retail is dying” theme shifts to “retail is evolving,” a sense of calm may be sweeping across the landscape — potentially slowing some of the frantic deal-making.
“We think M&A will continue this year, but a lot of the relevant low-hanging fruit has been picked over the last few years, and the smart acquirers will need to be that much more selective,” said Jeff Van Sinderen, a retail analyst with B. Riley & Co. LLC. “The good news is that at the end of the day, the iconic, strong players are likely to get even stronger as they deploy resources to increase relevance and market share in every possible component of their businesses.”
Here, four major themes that will define fashion and retail M&A in the year ahead.
Finish Line Will Go to Sports Direct
As U.K.-based sporting

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