The board of Intersport International Corp. (IIC) had already decided one year ago to initiate a search for a new owner of The Athlete’s Foot (TAF), the sports lifestyle footwear banner that it acquired in 2012. The Swiss-based owner of the big Intersport brand has finally picked the Arklyz Group, founded in Switzerland in 2018, to take over 100 percent of the TAF business along with the trademark rights and all the existing franchising agreements.
IIC explains the move with a desire to focus on strengthening Intersport’s core business in sports performance retailing.
Founded in 1971 in Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania, TAF has gone through many changes of ownership since then. Its store fleet declined strongly from a peak around the year 2000 of 800 stores – including 300 corporate stores in the U.S. – down to 420 stores when IIC bought it.
IIC said that TAF’s retail sales in the first five months of 2021 were 47 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2020, and up by 14 percent as compared to 2019. IIC and Arklyz have agreed not to disclose the financial details of TAF’s takeover, which is set to be finalized at the end of July.