By Caroline Jansen | Retail Dive | November 8, 2021
2021 has ushered in a wave of companies eyeing the public markets. So far in 2021, Retail Dive has tracked 17 major retailers that have filed for initial public offerings or direct listings.
That’s coming off of a two-decade high for IPOs across industries last year when 407 companies filed initial public offerings — a 109% increase from 2019 — according to data from Trading Platforms.
“One of the largest drivers is access,” said Matthew Katz, a managing partner at SSA & Company. “Historically, IPOs have been sacred opportunities for large wealthy investors and businesses. And today … there’s a low bar to get access to the IPO market.” Trading platforms are helping to provide access, and many individuals are investing more as a hobby, Katz added.
Retail, unlike some other industries, oftentimes have companies entering the market that the general public is familiar with and names investors recognize. “They can put their arms around it. It’s more than a P&L and balance sheet to them. It’s an affinity, it’s a connection, it’s an understanding,” Katz said.
So what’s causing the surge in retail IPO filings this year, and which sectors are better positioned than others?