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JD Sports snaps up stake in British activewear brand Gym King

By Huw Hughes

22 Jul 2021


Image: Gym King, Facebook

Sportswear giant JD Sports Group has bought a “significant minority stake” in British activewear brand Gym King.

The multi-million-pound investment will be used to help the company expand internationally, with a particular focus on the US, Europe and Asia.

Jay Parker, who founded Gym King in West Yorkshire in 2015, said the partnership will help the brand “capitalise on the huge opportunity ahead” and become a “world-renowned” lifestyle performance brand.

Parker, who is also CEO of Gym King, said the company has continued to see “impressive growth” over the last 12 months with a focus on its own online, direct to consumer offering alongside its premium wholesale distribution to selected retail partners.

“The clear synergies with JD Sports will create a strong platform for accelerated growth,” he said.

More of the same for JD Sports

This is the latest in a series of investments made by JD Sports over the past year. Since December 2020, the company has acquired Manchester-based menswear boutique Oi Polloi, US footwear label DTLR, Leicester-based independent menswear retailer Wellgosh, and US footwear retailer Shoe Palace.

In February this year, JD Sports announced it had raised 464 million pounds through the placing of new shares to finance further acquisitions.

Commenting on the investment in Gym King, JD Sports 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 and we are delighted to be part of that journey.”