JD Sports Fashion has acquired a majority stake at an undisclosed price in Activinstinct, a hybrid British retailer of outdoor and other sporting goods products whose sales have been growing rapidly, reaching an annual level of £24 million (€28.7m-$39.2m) in the past financial year, ended in August. The company has been expanding abroad lately, starting with France and Germany, and the process is expected to continue.
The business started as a brick-and-mortar store in London in the 1980s. Its owner, Simon Millet, launched the Millet Sports online store in 2000, and it was renamed as Activinstinct in 2008. Three years ago, it had a database of six million customers.
For JD, which is controlled by Pentland Group, the investment in Activinstinct follows on the heels of its previously reported acquisition of a controlling share in Tiso, an outdoor retail chain based in Scotland.
JD is reportedly planning to expand Tiso and its Outdoor Experience concept to other parts of the U.K. Activinstict would expand its international reach to include the U.S., for example.
Meanwhile, JD has released an interim financial report for the 16 weeks ended Nov. 13 where it said that it managed to repeat more or less the same performance as in the 26 weeks until Aug. 26, when it had reached 5.8 percent growth on a same-store basis in the U.K. and Ireland. The management also said that it was pleased with very recent progress at its existing outdoor retail operations, consisting of the Blacks and Millets chains.
The management concluded that the full financial year will show results that are at least in line with current expectations, although much will depend on the critical Christmas period, particularly in the last two weeks of December.