CriticalPoint Capital-backed completes merger of Shoes.com with Running Specialty Group

Shoes.com was acquired from Walmart in October of 2020, three-plus years after CPC first entered the footwear industry with the acquisition of JackRabbit.

CriticalPoint Capital, a Manhattan Beach, California-based private equity firm, has completed the merger of Shoes.com with its existing portfolio business, Running Specialty Group. The latter is the parent company of athletic specialty retailers including JackRabbit, Olympia Sports and Clever Training footwear. Financial terms were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, January 6, 2021 – Affiliates of CriticalPoint Capital, LLC (“CriticalPoint Capital” or “CPC”) announced today it has completed the merger of the recently acquired Shoes.com business with CPC’s existing platform Running Specialty Group, operator of the JackRabbit, Olympia Sports and Clever Training footwear and athletic specialty retailers.

The combination creates a market-leading, omni-channel specialty footwear platform with a wide range of branded footwear, apparel and athletic offerings catering to its devoted customer base while capitalizing on its distinct eCommerce sites and physical footprint of approximately 130 retail stores across the United States.  Shoes.com, JackRabbit, Olympia Sports and Clever Training (together, “RSG”) will continue to operate under their respective banners, while benefiting from a core infrastructure and shared services operational model focused on better serving and connecting with consumers.

Affiliates of CPC first entered the footwear industry in early 2017 with the acquisition of JackRabbit, a leading omni-channel retailer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories that serves a broad audience of runners, athletes and fitness enthusiasts.  JackRabbit subsequently bolstered its presence in the active lifestyle category later that year, through a joint venture with Rogue Training (now Rogue Running), a renowned training company for runners, and again in 2018 with the addition of Clever Training, a specialty retailer of fitness technology and active-gear enthusiast products.  In 2019, JackRabbit welcomed the Olympia Sports brand, adding stores in the Northeast U.S. while also serving online customers.  Shoes.com, a leading online retailer of footwear, apparel and accessories, offering major brands spanning athletic to casual, marks CPC’s latest investment in the category, which it acquired from Walmart in October of 2020.

“We are excited about the integration of Shoes.com into our family of specialty businesses as it further expands our product portfolio while providing customers greater access to top-tier brands through our full-service stores and powerful digital platform.” said Bill Kirkendall, CEO of RSG.  Bill further commented, “With strong positions in each of our targeted markets, we believe Shoes.com is an important addition to the RSG platform.  We are very enthusiastic for what the new combination entails, including increasing support and scale, enhancing our key capabilities, and expanding distribution points across the nation, while providing an attractive future for everyone involved including our employees, customers and vendors.”

“The integration of Shoes.com creates a truly unique multi-channel platform to house the best brands in footwear and to service today’s active lifestyle consumer,” Brad Holtmeier, Partner at CPC added. “Together, the companies can capitalize on each of their brand’s market leadership, vendor relationships and operational, distribution and marketing capabilities to drive higher revenue growth and profitability than any of the companies could independently accomplish.”

ABOUT CRITICALPOINT CAPITAL

Founded in 2012, CriticalPoint Capital is a private investment firm based in Manhattan Beach, CA.  The firm is focused on acquiring companies with long-term value creation opportunities and partnering with management teams that can benefit from patient capital and a thoughtful approach to growth.  CPC’s portfolio is comprised of investments across a wide variety of industries and the firm looks to grow through additional platform and add-on acquisitions. www.criticalpointcapital.com

ABOUT RUNNING SPECIALTY GROUP

A family of brands including JackRabbit, Shoes.com, Olympia Sports, and Clever Training.

JackRabbit is a leading omni-channel retailer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories serving a broad audience of runners, athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking high-performance training gear. www.jackrabbit.com

Shoes.com is a leading online retailer of footwear, apparel and accessories in the U.S. and internationally offering a broad assortment of the best brands spanning athletic to casual for women, men and children. www.shoes.com

Olympia Sports is a prominent retail sporting goods company that operates brick and mortar stores primarily in the Northeast U.S. while also serving online customers via its eCommerce site.  www.olympiasports.net

Clever Training is a multi-channel, specialty retailer of fitness technology and active-gear enthusiast products. www.clevertraining.com