JD Sports Fashion is understood to have taken a stake in Leeds menswear independent The Hip Store.
It is thought that The Hip Store, owned by Everton Campbell and Umberto Annechini, has been seeking investment for over a year. The agreement between the parties is believed to have been made last week. The amount of investment is unclear.
The business, which relocated from Thornton’s Arcade to bigger premises in Trinity Leeds shopping centre last year, stocks premium brands such as APC, Folk and Polo Ralph Lauren. It was founded in 1987. Campbell and Annechini were unavailable for comment.
JD Sports Fashion has been on a spending spree in recent years, having invested in and acquired a number of independent retailers. In June last year, the fashion arm of JD Sports bought young fashion mini-chain Ark out of administration, safeguarding more than 150 jobs.
Just last month the retailer made an undisclosed investment in Scarborough indie Mainline Menswear, which was founded by former footballer Stuart Hicks in 2002. JD chairman Peter Cowgill said at the time: “It’s a great business. We’re just giving it more financial stability and strength in the market. It was a sensible partnership to make.”
Cowgill added the funds would “enable it to continue to grow” with the money allowing the store to “buy more stock and continue to expand”.
JD Sports Fashion said in April it was considering new opportunities for growth in the coming year – both through potential acquisitions and international expansion.
The sports retailer, which also owns Size?, Scotts and Blacks, saw losses at its fashion arm widen in its latest full-year results, which it put down to underperformance from its Bank chain. Operating losses before exceptional items increased to £6.4m in the year to February 1, from £1.7m the year before.
JD Sports Fashion was unavailable for comment.