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JD Sports steps into the beauty sector with stake in Hairburst

JD Sports says it will build on Hairburst's existing online strength. Image: Screenshot of

JD Sports has stepped into the beauty sector for the first time by taking a majority stake in haircare brand Hairburst.

The multichannel sports fashion group now plans to build on the digital native Hairburst’s existing online presence to make it a leading multichannel beauty company. Further acquisitions of complementary businesses are anticipated. 

Hairburst was founded in 2014 and produces premium haircare and strengthening products from shampoos to growth and volume serums. It is popular with younger shoppers and has more than 840k followers on Instagram. It sells online through its own website to markets including Europe, the US, the Middle East and South East Asia, and through third-party retailers including Lookfantastic, Sephora and Boots. 

The acquisition is likely to mean that Hairburst products become available in-store and for click and collect at branches of JD Sports and its other retail brands. 

Jimmy Hill, co-founder of Hairburst, says: “We are very excited to partner with JD for the next stage of our growth. JD have already excelled in capturing the Gen Z market in the sports fashion industry giving us many synergy opportunities. We are very proud to be the first beauty business to partner with JD on their venture into the beauty industry. With our ability to create amazing products and market through social media, supplemented by JD’s consumer connection, financial power and global scale, we see great potential to build the Hairburst brand and acquire other brands within the sector.”

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, says: “We are pleased to have made this initial acquisition in the beauty sector and have been impressed by the capabilities of the management team, who have a strong identity and connection with millennials and Gen Z consumers.”

Hairburst was advised on corporate finance by Alantra, and on legal and financial issues by Sedulo, Pinsent Masons, BDO and EY. JD Sports was advised by CMS. 

Matthew Wiseman, partner at Alantra, says: “Led by an entrepreneurial, digitally native management team, Hairburst has seen significant growth, largely driven by the health-conscious consumer’s knowledge of high-quality ingredients and investment in their personal health and wellness. Hairburst is thriving in the evolving ecommerce market and maximises the power of influencers and social media.”

JD Sports is a Leading retailer in RXUK Top500 research

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