3 minutes

JD Sports says acquiring Hibbett will give it a better foothold in the Southeast and Midwest United States.

JD Sports Fashion plc reached an agreement to acquire Hibbett, Inc., the retailers jointly announced on April 23.

JD Sports will acquire all outstanding shares of Hibbett stock at $87.50 per share, totaling about $1.1 billion. That’s a 21% premium over the price of Hibbett’s stock at closing on April 22. 

“Today is a significant milestone for JD Sports as we take this transformative step as a global leader in the sports fashion industry through this transaction with Hibbett,” said Régis Schultz, CEO of JD Sports. “We’re thrilled to acquire Hibbett | City Gear, combining two of the most respected athletic retail brands in the United States, as we continue to strategically expand our global multi-brand platform. With Hibbett’s highly complementary footprint, this transaction represents a logical next step in our strategic growth plans, further enabling us to meet the dynamic demands of consumers globally.”

JD Sports is headquartered in Bury, England, with more than 3,300 stores worldwide. Acquiring the Birmingham, Alabama-based Hibbett and its nearly 1,200 stores will allow JD Sports to continue growing its U.S. presence, the retailer said. 

JD Sports is No. 26 in the Europe Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the largest online retailers in the region. Hibbett is No. 303 in the Top 1000. The database is Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the largest North American online retailers.


Details of JD Sports’ acquisition of Hibbett

The Hibbett Board of Directors unanimously approved the acquisition agreement, it said. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024. That’s dependent on approval from Hibbett stockholders and regulators.

Once the deal goes through, Hibbett will operate under JD Sports and cease being a publicly traded company. It will retain its headquarters in Alabama. Mike Longo will stay on as CEO, and executive vice president of merchandising Jared Briskin will take over as chief operating officer.

JD Sports said the acquisition would add to its revenue in the first fiscal year and contribute $25 million in cost savings.

“The transaction with JD Sports will create immediate, certain and substantial value for Hibbett stockholders while ensuring that our brands are well-positioned to continue to serve the customers and communities that have always been the central focus of Hibbett’s business,” said Anthony Crudele, chairman of the Board of Directors of Hibbett. “The Board unanimously agreed that this transaction is the best path to maximize the value of Hibbett, and I am proud of what this company and our outstanding team have accomplished for all stakeholders.”


JD Sports will fund the deal with $300 million in cash and another $1 billion in funding from existing bank facilities, it said.

Hibbett’s financials

In its fourth quarter of fiscal 2024 ended Feb. 3, Hibbett reported that net sales grew 1.8% to $466.6 million. Brick-and-mortar comparable sales declined 9.2%. Meanwhile, ecommerce sales grew 6.9% over the same period. Ecommerce represented 18.9% of net sales in the quarter.

For the full year ended Feb. 3, Hibbett said net sales grew 1.2% to $1.71 billion. Ecommerce sales increased 4.1% in the year, to account for 16.2% of annual sales.

The sports retailer forecasted that fiscal 2025 sales will grow up to 2% over 2024 sales.


JD Sports eyes US growth

JD Sports cited Hibbett’s fiscal 2024 revenue in its presentation on the merger to investors. In addition, it noted “strong brand positioning” and “significant store presence” as ways Hibbett will benefit JD Sports. 

Specifically, Hibbett will give JD Sports a foothold in the Southeast and Midwest U.S. That’s “highly complementary” to JD Sports’ other brands with established presences on the East and West coasts, it said.

The British retailer has had a U.S. presence since 2018, which it expanded in 2020 with the acquisition of Shoe Palace. The U.S. is the world’s largest sportswear market, and an attractive place to continue investing, it said. U.S. sportswear sales topped $121 billion in 2023, more than four times higher than E.U. sales, JD Sports said.

Do you rank in our databases? 

Submit your data and we’ll see where you fit in our next ranking update.


Sign up

Stay on top of the latest developments in the ecommerce industry. Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 Retail NewsFollow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and YouTube. Be the first to know when Digital Commerce 360 publishes news content.