Indianapolis -- The Finish Line announced that Gart Capital Partners will invest $10 million in Finish Line’s Running Specialty Group, with the goal of creating the largest operator of specialty running shoe business in the United States.
The joint venture, which will be majority owned by Finish Line, builds upon the retailer’s 2011 acquisition of an 18-store chain of specialty running shops operating under The Running Company banner. This acquisition represented a first step in pursuing the significant market opportunity within specialty running, which today is a highly fragmented market with limited e-commerce penetration.
The headquarters of the Running Specialty Group will be relocated to Denver, where Gart will manage all day-to-day operations as well as merchandising and the acquisition of additional running operators from its home base there. Finish Line will continue to leverage its strengths as a leading omni-channel retailer, providing direct logistics, marketing and IT support along with digital expertise.
“We are excited to take our specialty running growth plans to the next level with GCP,” said Finish Line chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon. “Like the ski retail business, customers within specialty running prize a shopping experience that is expert, highly localized and infused with the sport’s unique culture.”