Frasers Group has sold its U.S. retail businesses, Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, for $70 million in cash to GoDigital Media Group. The acquisition of Bob’s, an apparel, footwear and workwear retailer, and outdoor apparel brand EMS, means GoDigital will add 900 employees, 42 stores and a warehouse fulfillment center to its organization.
According to Frasers, the funds from the transaction will go into the group’s general working capital pool. With a portfolio that includes Everlast, Frasers, Kangol, LA Gear, No Fear and Sports Direct, Frasers said that the sale reflects its FG Elevation strategy.
“The Bobs and EMS store estate does not include any of the new elevated stores which are core to the FG Elevation strategy,” the UK-based company said in a statement. “The disposal of these non-core businesses allows FG to have an even greater focus on delivering its Elevation strategy by focusing on store experience, digital and product.”
GoDigital’s executive leadership includes industry veterans whose retail experience includes roles at brands including BCBG, Gap and Next. Carlos Cruz, GoDigital’s Brands SVP, leads the company’s commerce team.
“The outdoor adventure and work markets perfectly align with our business model to serve specialized audiences with huge potential,” said Jason Peterson, CEO of GoDigital in a statement. “We seek to sell through a combination of owned and operated ecommerce storefronts, third-party digital storefronts and traditional retail partners. This transaction also presents a great opportunity to apply our prowess in product development, supply chain, and ecommerce across all of our brands.”
Frasers Group, which had operated as Sports Direct International, acquired Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports from Eastern Outfitters LLC in April 2017. The $101 million cash deal took place as Eastern Outfitters faced bankruptcy.