Fleet Feet has entered into a deal to acquire JackRabbit.
Fleet Feet continues to expand through acquisitions.
The country’s largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores has agreed to acquire JackRabbit, the second-largest running specialty retailer in the United States, from affiliates of CriticalPoint Capital. The deal includes all JackRabbit stores across 15 states and its jackrabbit.com e-commerce business.
Fleet Feet has been busy building out its brick-and-mortar footprint. During the past 10 months, the company has acquired four franchise locations as a part of its succession plan for retiring owners. It also acquired FITNiche, a Central Florida independent running retailer with three stores. In addition, Fleet Feet opened five new stores with an additional two stores planned to open by yearend.
JackRabbit, originally called the Running Specialty Group, was founded in 2011 as a specialty running store consolidation effort by The Finish Line. It was acquired in 2017 by affiliates of CriticalPoint Capital, which has focused on accelerating the brand’s omnichannel growth through a robust digital strategy.
"This acquisition creates a nationally connected-and-supported network of 250 community-based retail stores, all poised to deliver an exceptional experience for customers, and I couldn't think of a better outcome for all involved," said Joey Pointer, CEO and president of Fleet Feet.
Fleet Feet said that jackrabbit.com will redirect to fleetfeet.com as soon as the transaction is completed. Long-term, Fleet Feet will transition all JackRabbit branding to Fleet Feet by the end of 2022.
"We believe that with the right running partner, there's no limit to how far we can go," said Bill Kirkendall, CEO of JackRabbit, Denver. "In Fleet Feet, JackRabbit has found an incredible partner for the long haul that will benefit our brand, staff, customers and communities, and we can't wait to move forward together."
Fleet Feet has been on a roll sales-wise. In August, the company turned in its best sales performance in its 45-year history, with system-wide sales up 34% year-over-year. Sales have remained strong throughout the third quarter, with combined brick-and-mortar sales up 33% and digital sales up more than 32% compared the year-ago period.
Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores with 191 locations in 37 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, N.C.