Expert: MEC to be acquired by private U.S. investment firm


Published: 17Sep2020

Tens of thousands of people have signed on to a petition hoping to stop the sale of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) to a private U.S. firm. The sale was announced Monday September 14 and will see Los Angeles-based private investment firm Kingswood Capital Management acquire the business and its assets. As a result, the retailer will no longer operate as a member-owned co-operative. (Global News)

Here is an expert from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Charles De Brabant, Executive Director, Bensadoun School of Retail Management, Desautels Faculty of Management

It is not surprising that it happened, since MEC was already having financial challenges before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current crisis dramatically accelerated the challenges faced by MEC as a non-essential retailer and put them in an untenable situation. We will see if and how Kingswood Capital Management LP will succeed with this acquisition, as financial firms have been relatively unsuccessful in taking over strongly branded retailers with strong cultures and values like MEC. At the same time, there may be a great opportunity with the ‘staycation’ trend and more focus on outdoor activities not too far from home.”

Charles de Brabant joined McGill University in 2017 to co-lead the creation and the development of the Bensadoun School of Retail Management whose ambition is to be the leading academic institution in the world dedicated to the future of retail. With over 25 years of experience mostly working in Europe and most recently in China and South East Asia, his passions and expertise sit at the crossroads of people development, executive education and consulting in strongly branded and fast-growing retail environments.

charles.debrabant [at] (English, French)

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McGill University
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