24 October 2012

INTERSPORT acquires U.S. franchise retail chain The Athlete's Foot

Berne, Switzerland - 24 October 2012 - IIC - INTERSPORT International Corp. (IIC), with its headquarters in Berne, Switzerland and the Global Franchise Group (GFG), based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, have reached an agreement on the acquisition of all shares of the The Athlete’s Foot Franchising LLC, a 100% subsidiary of GFG. IIC will take over the worldwide Athlete’s Foot trademark rights and all franchise agreements. The Athlete’s Foot has 430 stores in 27 countries, including the United States, Mexico, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, Athlete’s Foot is represented in Portugal, Denmark and Russia. 

The Athlete’s Foot retail concept is the group’s future sports authentic footwear retail banner offering athletic footwear for the urban sports and lifestyle inspired consumers, including footwear related apparel and accessories. The stores have an average surface area of 150m2 to 250 m2 and are situated in preferred downtown locations. Their range consists mainly of sports shoes, which - depending on the region – will dictate the type of shoes to satisfy performance and lifestyle. 

The expansion potential in the markets in which The Athlete’s Foot is represented today, but also in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Argentina, is promising. "The Athlete’s Foot is an ideal complement to INTERSPORT immediately providing us the presence in 63 countries instead of the current 41. While we were in a strong global position especially in Europe so far, this acquisition allows us to move into the lucrative markets of the USA, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand, take advantage of the potential of the emerging countries in South America and we are strengthening our position in Asia and the Middle East. In current INTERSPORT markets, INTERSPORT licensees will open The Athlete’s Foot stores", says Franz Julen, CEO of IIC-INTERSPORT International Corporation. 

Founded in 1971 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA, The Athlete’s Foot expanded its business beyond the U.S. borders in 1978, when the first international master franchise agreement was signed and the first store opened in Adelaide, Australia, the beginning the Athlete’s Foot’s global footprint. Today The Athlete’s Foot is the world’s leading franchisor of athletic footwear. 

"The Athlete’s Foot retail concept is a meaningful completion of the multi-brand/multi-sports concept of INTERSPORT. Regardless of the eventful past, we are convinced that this well-known retail brand together with our experience, market position, credibility, long-term perspectives will be even stronger, offering all stakeholders further growth opportunities", underlines Klaus Jost, Chairman of the Board of Management of IIC. 

This is why the The Athlete’s Foot stores will continue to be operated under "The Athlete's Foot" and IIC will set up an internal Athlete’s Foot Division. Although The Athlete’s Foot is operated as a separate business concept, IIC can significantly benefit from many valuable synergies in areas such as assortment planning, product development, marketing, shop design, etc. With INTERSPORT, The Athlete's Foot and the price leadership concept budget sport, the Group offers now three different, major sports retail concepts. 

With a turnover of over EUR 9.9 billion and more than 5‘400 specialist sports stores in 41 countries, the INTERSPORT Group has further strengthened its position as the leader in the world’s sporting goods market.