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.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Iraq crisis: Government forces execute 255 Sunni prisoners in revenge for Isis atrocities, says report
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...