M&A volume remains low, but deals across the retail sector continue to crop up as acquirers search for winning brand names that resonate with consumers, says Antony Karabus, president of SD Retail Consulting, an advisory unit of Hilco Trading LLC.

Target Corp.'s (NYSE: TGT) recent purchase of Chefs Catalog and Cooking.com comes to mind, as well as the acquisition of eyewear retail chain Óticas Carol by a group led by 3i Group plc (LON: III). Then there was Sycamore Partners' $600 million takeover of pop-culture themed Hot Topic Inc.,

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