Many companies are getting a coronavirus sales boost, making the demand cycle both unpredictable and difficult to forecast. These dynamics and fluctuations will cause sponsors to sit on the sidelines until they see evidence that the trends will stick.
Those riding the current tailwinds include Sycamore Partners-owned Staples and public rivals Office Depot and Office Max, which all posted a jump in year-over-year sales growth as of mid-March, according to Facteus data service. Wayfair, also public, reported a 20 percent sales increase YOY during the first quarter as consumers adjusted to working from home.
In ordinary times, the upswing could spell progress but, in a pandemic, it points to demand that could disappear overnight. This is going to reinforce the need for good due diligence for PE firms hoping to buy the larger players in the space, said Bain & Company Partner Kurt Grichel.