JD Sports Acquire Oi Polloi Boutique
JD Sports have continued their global expansion by acquiring hip menswear and footwear boutique Oi Polloi. As reported by Drapers, Oi Polloi filed paperwork with the UK’s Companies House earlier this year that confirmed JD’s acquisition of Oi Polloi’s retail and online assets for an undisclosed sum.
JD Sports chairman Peter Cowgill will become company director, while Oi Polloi founders Nigel Lawson and Steve Sanderson will stay on to deal with operational requirements like sales and marketing.
‘We couldn’t grow before, we were just treading water,’ Lawson explained to Drapers. ‘We got into talks with JD Sports and they offered us a structured survival plan. We went through our problems with them and they could offer us the continuation of our business.’
Oi Polloi was founded in 2002 by Lawson and Sanderson, who quickly grew a dedicated customer base who shop for more refined offerings from upscale labels like Stone Island and Mephisto. Their Manchester store also carries a strong casual contingency via core brands adidas and Clarks.
Oi Polloi entered the collaborative space at a prescient time too, working with Clarks back in 2012 for an underrated Wallabee pack (the story goes they were made from unicorn leather – it was actually elk) and again in 2014 on the Wallabee Ridge. Between more recent colabs with the likes of Novesta and Reebok, one of Oi Polloi’s biggest efforts was the adidas Ardwick from 2015, which remains one of the most sought after trainers in recent memory, fetching four-digit figures on the secondary market.
Late last year, JD Sports acquired the Shoe Palace store network over in America.