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JD Sports makes its first move into the beauty market with Hairburst investment

Lauretta Roberts
27 September 2021

Sports and fashion retail giant JD Sports has made its first move into the fast-growing beauty sector by taking a stake in Hairburst.

Hairburst sells supplements to support healthy hair, shampoos, conditioners and styling products; it was established in 2014 by James Hill, Henry Gwilliam and Matthew Cragg.

Its products are sold via its own e-commerce site and third party retailers such as Boots, Holland & Barrett, Sephora and Superdrug. The company employs 45 staff and the value and size of the stake taken by JD Sports has not been disclosed.

The investment by JD Sports will enable Hairburst to carry out a number of bolt-on acquisitions to enable it to offer a full beauty offer. The move also plays into JD's strategy to move beyond its core base of sportswear.

JD has been highly acquisitive lately snapping up Spain's Deporvillage, MIG in Poland, and DTLR in the US in recent months. It has also acquired two high-end, multi-brand independent retailers in the form of Manchester's Oi Polloi and Wellgosh in Leicester. It has also been linked with a potential investment in fast fashion brand Missguided (though a number of parties are said to be interested in that deal including ASDA) and at the start of this year lost out to ASOS in the race to buy the Topshop brand from collapsed retail group Arcadia.

JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill told The Times: “We are pleased to have made this initial acquisition in the beauty sector and have been impressed by the capabilities of the management team, who have a strong identity and connection with millennials and Gen Z consumers.”

Hairburst has amassed 1.5m followers across social media, which has been key to its success. Co-founder James Hill said that the investment would not only allow the brand to acquire complementary businesses but would enable it to tap into JD's customer base, which fits its target demographic.


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