Olympus sale costs Sears pounds 35m
Tuesday 28 November 1995
Sears, the Selfridges to Freemans catalogue group, has lost pounds 35m on the sale of the Olympus Sports chain, after an attempt to reposition the stores failed.
Sears sold Olympus yesterday to a group controlled by Philip Green, former chairman of Amber Day, the What Everyone Wants discount retail chain.
Mr Green is paying pounds 25m for the group, but Sears' total loss on the disposal will be pounds 35m including a goodwill write-off of pounds 5m. Mr Green has combined with a Scottish retailer, Sports Division, to buy the stores through a private company, Mayfind.
Olympus has128 high street branches as well as 22 out-of- town superstores and 55 in-store concessions. Sports Division has 45 stores and is run by Tom Hunter, who will take over the day-to-day running of the Olympus chain. Mr Green will be chairman
Mr Green plans to increase the stores' focus on big sports brands such as Nike, Reebok and Adidas. "This is a big brand business," he said. "This is a big opportunity and it [Olympus] needs a bit of love, care and attention. Sometimes that isn't possible inside a large corporation."
Sears has been looking to focus on a smaller number of retail formats and has already sold the Freeman Hardy Willis chain of shoe shops. Other disposals are expected.
It had tried to reposition the Olympus chain with a redesign and a shift to out-of-town stores but the group continued to make losses. Last year Sears' sports and leisure division, which also includes the profitable Millets chain, made a loss of pounds 2m on sales of pounds 205m.
City analysts supported the deal but said Olympus would need to have more to its strategy than just a big brand offer, where margins are lower.
John Richards, retail analyst at NatWest Securities, said: "Olympus is a good brand. It always was. But Sears failed to exploit it."
Mr Green is fast developing a large stable of retail formats. Last year he took control of the Owen Owen chain of 13 department stores. He is also chairman of Xceptions, a chain of discount stores. In July he acquired the bank debt of Owen & Robinson, which owns Foothold, a sports footwear chain.
Sears shares closed up 1.5p at 102.5p.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...