Fraser's sells US-based Bobs and Eastern Mountain Sports
Frasers Group said this week that it’s disposed of its US retail businesses, Bobs Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), for a cash consideration of $70m to GoDigital Media Group (GDMG).
The funds will go into the company’s general working capital pool and are likely to be a welcome boost given the vast amounts of money it’s investing in its elevation stagey at present as it opens a raft of higher-end stores across the UK.
On that subject, it said the Bobs and EMS store estate doesn’t include “any of the new elevated stores, which are core to that strategy”.
“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”, it said.
Frasers bought the US businesses for a figure reported to be $101 million back in 2017 when it was still known as Sports Direct. They were acquired from Eastern Outfitters that had filed for bankruptcy and the move was the firm’s first step into the giant US market.
The UK business had said it would operate 50 of the physical sores, plus their webstores and had big plans to expand the offer.
At the time, a company spokesperson said: “We are excited to expand our presence in the United States. Adding these reputable and established retailers to Sports Direct's portfolio of holdings in the US will afford us a strong platform with which to rapidly expand our store and web presence, in this critically important market.”
However, the move upmarket since then made those US stores look increasingly out of step with the parent company.
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