JD Sports takes "significant" stake in Gym King
In what looks to be a strong fit, retail giant JD Sports Fashion has made a multi-million-pound investment in UK performance wear/althleisure retailer Gym King.
JD said it had taken a “significant” minority stake in the Yorkshire-based firm which was founded by Jay Parker in 2015. Its product is sold though JD Sports stores, a host of other independent sportswear retailers and via its own website.
JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We have long admired the Gym King business and have increasingly recognised its potential as we’ve worked together in recent years. Investing in Gym King was a natural follow on to strengthen our partnership and is testament to the work Jay and his team have put in over recent years. The future for Gym King has a great number of opportunities”.
Parker said: “This strategic partnership will help Gym King capitalise on the huge opportunity ahead of us, becoming a world renowned ‘lifestyle performance’ brand. Our core brand values – Mindset, Resilience & Community align perfectly with the JD business and consumer.
He added: “We have continued to see impressive growth over the last 12 months with a focus on our own online, direct to consumer offering alongside our premium wholesale distribution to selected retail partners. The clear synergies with JD Sports will create a strong platform for accelerated growth”.
Backed by a substantial acquisition war chest, the latest investment is part of JD’s bid for major growth and international expansion in the US, Europe and Asia, where it collectively operates 2,500 stores with localised digital support.
Recent purchases include Poland-based peer Marketing Investment Group which operates 410 stores across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe; Finish Line, Shoe Palace and DTLR in the US; Sprinter in Spain, Sport Zone in Portugal and Chausport in France.
It has also been buying brands in the UK such as Oi Polloi and Wellgosh and was rumoured to have been interested in Topshop when it was up for sale.
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