JD Sports has acquired Manchester cult clothing brand Oi Polloi

Peter Cowgill
X The Business Desk

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Acquisition hungry retailer JD Sports has snapped up Manchester-based cult clothing brand Oi Polloi.

According to filings at Companies House, JD Sports bought the Northern Quarter shop and online assets earlier this year and CEO Peter Cowgill has been named as a company director.

Oi Polloi has been shaping wardrobes for more than 20 years from its site on Thomas Street.

The independent boutique was founded by Steve Sanderson and Nigel Lawson and sells menswear range from a selection of brands including Beams Plus, Stone Island, Polo Ralph Lauren, Keen and Patagonia.

The founders have now stepped away from the business.

JD Sports, which sells big brands like Nike and Adidas, has 400 JD and Size? branded stores in the UK and Ireland, and nearly 2,400 sports shops around the world, and raked in nearly £6.2bn of sales in the year to the end of January.

In recent years, it has grown its presence with several high-profile acquisitions including Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green brand when it went into administration, and more recently it acquired US sportswear and footwear retailer DTLR for £360m.

The group’s merger with Rochdale-based Footasylum is being reassessed by the Competition and Markets Authority after its initial decision to block the deal was quashed on appeal.

In February, JD Sports raised £464m through a placing of new shares to raise M&A funds.

With a substantial acquisition war chest, the company said it believes “there are a number of potentially attractive acquisition opportunities that will become available in due course and which will continue to support the group’s successful global expansion strategy.”

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