For mid-size retail companies — those with anywhere from $10 million to $1 billion in revenue — the combination of today’s steady growth and affordable capital is rare indeed. There is also ample liquidity as traditional middle-market lenders are being joined by institutional investors with deep pockets and a strong desire to participate in these loans. What’s more, new products are available that give borrowers more flexibility. In short, it’s a near ideal environment for midsize company borrowers.
Ever since the financial crisis, consumer confidence has labored to regain strength, and spending has been correspondingly subpar. So it’s not surprising that retailers have been extremely reluctant to make big capital outlays. But now there are signs that consumers are loosening their purse strings and, as they do, momentum is building among retailers to renew capital spending on certain projects.
Lending to retailers is once again on the rise, as capital flows back into the market and retailers that stayed afloat during the recession look to strengthen their competitive positions. During the economic downturn, the more nimble and savvy retailers cut costs, reduced inventory levels, renegotiated leases and closed underperforming stores.