Triangular chairs with a gleam of sun rays shining through.

10 retail companies list on UK markets this year compared to just three in last three years!

Published on 12 January 2022

Rise fueled by e-commerce as eight online retailers go public this year

10 retailers listed on the UK stock market this year – compared to three for the last three years combined, says RPC, the international law firm. 

The rise in the number of retail sector IPOs was mainly fueled by the listing of online retailers, which made up eight of the 10 IPOs. 

Karen Hendy, Co-Head of Retail at RPC, says: “The unlocking of the IPO market in 2021 for retailers is great news. It dramatically increases the funding options for retailers with growth ambitions.

“We are expecting to see more new retail concepts expand into the post-COVID landscape and having a wider choice of sources of capital will help that rollout.”

Online sales as a percentage of total retail sales in the UK peaked in January of this year, with 37.6% of sales being from online platforms. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, online sales remain above pre-pandemic levels (26.3% in October 2021 compared to 19.1% in February 2020.** 

Karen Hendy adds: “As well as funding organic growth, listing in the UK can be a great springboard for companies looking to expand through acquisition.”

The rise in IPOs by retailers comes as the total number of companies listing on the UK markets has also sharply risen – climbing 270% in the same period, to 180 from 66. 

Karen Hendy adds: “The UK market continues to prove attractive to investors who are actively looking for opportunities to back growing British retail and e-commerce brands. 

“Obviously, Omicron is a bump in the road and might delay some IPOs, but the retail sector’s shares have outperformed the wider market over one and five years so a listing still presents great opportunity for retail businesses.”

*November 30th year end
**Office for National Statistics