Happy campers: JD Sports buys Go Outdoors for £112m

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

JD Sports has added to its cluster of outdoor brands with the £112 million acquisition of Go Outdoors, making it the largest retailer of outdoor equipment in the UK.

The company, which already owns Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors and Scottish outdoor retailer Tiso, bought the 58-store chain from YFM Equity Partners and 3i Group.

Sheffield-based Go Outdoors, founded in 1998, is known for its ‘Aladdin’s cave’-style shops where outdoor enthusiasts can pick up anything from a “£10 walking shoe to a £900 air tent”.

Its stores, most of which are on retail parks, generated £202 million in sales last year. JD Sports’ outdoor brands made £155 million during the same period.

Go Outdoors founders Paul Caplan and John Graham will leave the business as a result of the deal.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports chairman, said: "Go Outdoors is a great addition to our existing Outdoor business.

“The minimal overlap in store locations and their out of town, one-stop retailer approach complements the work we have done on the high street with Blacks and Millets and further strengthens our offering in the Outdoor sector. I am excited by the future prospects this holds for the JD Group."

In September, JD Sports acquired Australian firm Next Athleisure, which operates the fashion retailer Glue, as it kick-started new ventures in the southern hemisphere.

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