Go Sport confirms acquisition of Gap France franchise
On January 12, French retail group Hermione People & Brands issued a brief press release announcing the acquisition of the master franchise for Gap in France by HPB-owned Go Sport, confirming a report by online news agency Mediapart. The acquisition has taken place as Go Sport is about to learn, on Monday January 16, the decision by the trade court in Grenoble, France, with regards to the sport retailer’s financial situation. Receivership is among the options considered.
The Go Sport group also owns the Endurance Shop and Bike + retail chains. The announcement of Go Sport’s acquisition of the Gap franchise for the French market was discussed in a consultation between representatives of the two companies, held on Tuesday January 10.
HPB, also the owner of 25 Galeries Lafayette franchised stores outside Paris, as well as La Grande Récré toy store chain and coffee producer Legal, said the operation “aims to strengthen the lifestyle and sportswear business of [Go Sport and Gap France], each with their own independent strategy.”
Nothing was said at this stage about a possible joint sale of these two entities, a project that had once been considered by Go Sport. According to Challenges magazine, Patrick Puy, who took charge of Go Sport in early January, is responsible for presenting the sport retailer in the best possible light, with a view to selling it.
In just three years, HPB has established itself as a major player in French fashion retail, having bought, in addition to the 25 Galeries Lafayette branches, also Camaïeu in 2020, and Go Sport (which operates 223 stores) and Gap France (with 22 stores) in 2021. Following the headline-grabbing liquidation of Camaïeu in 2022, the question is whether HPB is planning to exit the personal goods sector.
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