operational expertise + financial acumen =
Shoe retail
December 2017
Fund Investment Date:
Gross Turnover at Acquisition (incl. franchising):
€200 million
OpCapita Executives:
John Coleman & Josh Spoerri
Key Facts
Merkal is a leading Spanish footwear and accessories retailer offering a comprehensive range of quality products at affordable prices via a portfolio of 210 stores across Spain. Founded in 1987, the Company has head-offices in Barcelona and San Sebastian, and logistics facilities in Zaragoza. It currently employs c. 1,000 employees across the country.

Merkal was acquired by OpCapita in December 2017 from Vivarte SAS, the French retailing conglomerate.

The Spanish footwear market has recovered to pre-2012 levels, reaching €5.9 billion sales and 177 million pairs sold in 2016. Women's footwear, which makes up 53% of the market, is the segment which has been driving growth in recent years.

Going forward, the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3%, strongly supported by new trends in sport-inspired trainers and sneakers, comfort shoes and a shift in consumption to higher quality / higher priced products.

Merkal is the leading Spanish retail chain in the affordable footwear segment. The Company is well positioned to capitalise on a fragmented market and the declining presence of independent retailers.

OpCapita plans to drive the development and growth of Merkal in close collaboration with the Company's long-standing management team. Together we will look to address some significant operational upside opportunities through a review and optimisation of product offering, a shift to direct sourcing, improved communication and marketing, an acceleration of new store openings and further development of the existing online capabilities.

Since our investment, we have:
  • Reinforced existing management team
  • Consolidated Asian supplier network
  • Initiated a comprehensive review of the supply chain
  • Reviewed marketing and communication strategy
  • Migrated to independent ERP system
  • Started a selective new store opening and refurbishment programme
leading independent footwear retailer in Spain
c. 210