Business angels, private equity, venture capital and funds are once again investing in retail. “In the first quarter of 2022 there were five deals while in 2021 557 million were invested in 45 operations, with an increase of 36% compared to 2019 – said Mario Resca, president of Confimprese during the fourth retail and finance summit -. 2021 was a record year also in terms of weight on the total of private equity operations in retail, which reaches a share of 7% of investments, compared to 9% in 2019 and the drastic drop to 4% in 2020 “. Data that should induce investors to consider retail companies as potential targets to whom it is necessary to provide capital and skills useful to support their development in a multi-channel perspective or services to be integrated with the traditional proposal, to seize the potential they can express and take advantage of the current slowdown in online, which must still be seen as a business lever and not a threat. In the long term, between 2015 and 2021, there were 165 transactions involving retail companies in which 1.7 billion was invested.
Giovanni Tamburi, president of Tamburi Investment Partners, a few years ago chose to invest, among other things, in Ovs (retail) and Alpitour and underlines the importance of a stable and long-term investment strategy and emphasizes on omnichannel. “The theme is experience and the complementarity between physical and digital space because omnichannel is the key to everything”.
Among the latest transactions signed are those of Fra Diavolo, a chain of pizzerias that moved to Gesa-Mir, or the entry with a minority share of the private equity fund Milano Capital and other private investors in the Landoll Group, personal care products for ending with Winelivery (e-commerce) on which Gellify has focused. “Finance has allowed us to accelerate growth – says Francesco Magro, founder and CEO of Winelivery -. We have developed a network of 87 dark stores and are now working on a retail project. By the end of the year we aim to open 14 bars and wine bars while by 2024 we plan to have a network of 60 places in the main cities ». A development that pushes the accounts of the platform which in 2021 had revenues of 10 million and for this year the CEO expects double-digit growth.
“Italy has a great attraction from the point of view of internationalization and there is the desire of private equity and finance in general to invest in retail” adds the president of Confimprese. Among the associated brands there are 41 commercial brands that report to 13 companies in which they have invested the funds. Brands that achieve a total turnover of one billion. There are eight catering companies: Alice Pizza, Rossopomodoro, Cigierre, La Piadineria, Italian Chocolates, My Chef, Dispensa Emilia, Forno D’Asolo. Three sell clothing and footwear (Conbipel, Pittarosso and Velasca) while the Landoll Group and Facile.it for personal care and services. «The Italian funds must change gear and aspire to operations at an international level. To do this, they must free themselves from the duration of the investment and focus not only on a medium / long-term project that takes into account the economic and financial variables of the country where they invest, but also on multifunctional teams able to take on the role of investor and of the manager »hopes Mario Resca.