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Axios Pro Insights: Retail Deals

Axios Events
Jul 6, 2022
Screenshot of Kimberly Chin and Eva Press on a video call
Axios Pro Retail Deals reporter Kimberly Chin interviews Meta global business group vice president Eva Press. Screenshot: Axios Pro

On Tuesday, June 28, Axios Pro Retail Deals reporters Kimberly Chin and Richard Collings led conversations highlighting scoops and top stories from the second quarter in Retail deals. Guests included Meta global business group vice president Eva Press and Macellum Capital Management CEO Jonathan Duskin.

Eva Press discussed new ways retailers are engaging with consumers on social platforms, what the metaverse can offer retailers and how consumer behavior drives much of the development of commerce offerings.

  • On opportunities for retailers to engage with consumers on platforms: “The opportunity for retailers is enormous. When you look at social commerce, it’s expected to be a $3 trillion business by 2025, and so really finding the way in through our platforms becomes incredibly important.”
  • On advising retail partners around the metaverse “When we think about how we work with our retail partners and advise them around the metaverse, what we like to reinforce to everyone is the metaverse isn’t just one thing, right? It’s this interconnection of digital spaces that you can move seamlessly between, and it includes everything from 2D video to augmented reality all the way to VR, and so what we really encourage people to do is think about each of those elements and find the ways that they are going to be able to drive their business results using any of those elements.”

Jonathan Duskin gave a summary of the 2022 proxy season specific to retail and how it compared to previous years, what attributes he looks for when targeting a company and what changes companies can expect moving into next year.

  • On how this year’s proxy season compares to previous years: “I guess the value of assets such as real estate is becoming a little bit more of a method people are looking at to create value in retail in particular. There are a couple of campaigns focused on spinning out [e-commerce]. … I think there have probably been a few new twists, but I think they always come back to the same core tenets of, is this a business that can be improved and with better governance and better oversight, and are there better directors that can help effectuate that change and create value over the long term?”
  • On changes to expect next year: “The biggest change that’s coming down the pipe next year is the universal proxy access. In the system we have today, you can either vote the company’s card or the dissident’s card. … What a universal proxy card will do will put all the candidates on one ballot. … You can choose a mix and match from the dissident slate and the company’s slate. I actually think it’ll be a really positive development.”

In the View from the Top segment, PwC US Deals Sector leader and partner John Potter shared his advice for companies as they move into the second half of the year.

  • “A focus on discipline and selectivity is key. We see valuations coming back a little bit, looking where the equity markets are, but we also see the focus on growth and where consumer spending is and the continued demand to meet customers where they are. So I think back to the strategic conviction is really critical. ... And same goes for divestitures, really revisiting the portfolio and being committed to saying, you know what, I know we decided to keep that last year, but let’s rethink that.”

Thank you PwC for sponsoring this event.

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