JD Sports today said it had agreed to buy US athleisure brand Finish Line to help it take its multichannel model into the US market.
JD Sports, a Top50 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said its acquisition of a retailer that has 556 stores in the US and Puerto Rico and sells online via its own website and that of US department store Macy’s, would give it "the opportunity to expand its market-leading elevated proposition into the most significant global market".
It added: "It immediately gains the benefit of a significant physical and online retail presence and increases the importance of the company to its major international brand partners. On completion of the acquisition, the company will focus on bringing JD’s highly differentiated multi-channel retail proposition to the US market."
The $1.84 billion (£1.3bn) turnover retailer employs around 3,700 staff full time and 9,300 part time and the acquisition deal is expected to complete no earlier than June 2018.
JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said the "landmark" deal would be "transformational for the business."
"We are extremely excited to be joining up with Finish Line, a well-established US operator," he said. "The acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for JD to establish its market leading multi-brand proposition in the world’s largest athleisure market. It immediately offers a major presence in the US, a clear next step to further increase our global scale. Finish Line has many similarities to JD with a strong bricks and mortar offering complemented by an advanced and well-invested digital platform. We are looking forward to working with Finish Line’s experienced management team to bring best in class retail theatre to the US. Our combined extensive knowledge of the retail market and our product and marketing relationships with global brand partners will benefit our customers, in turn supporting the continued future growth of JD."
Sam Sato, chief executive of Finish Line, said: "Finish Line has long admired JD and their commitment to serve customers with premium brands through a unique and innovative retail experience. We are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to realizing the impact we will have on the marketplace together."
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