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JD Sports Makes First Beauty Acquisition with Hairburst

October 4, 2021
October 4, 2021

JD Sports Fashion has been on an acquisition spree, expanding into beauty for the first time and taking a majority stake in the UK-based online hair and beauty brand Hairburst.

WHO: James Hill, Henry Gwilliam, and Matthew Cragg co-founded Hairburst in 2014. The UK-based brand sells vitamins, shampoos, and styling products directly to consumers through its website in France, Italy, US, MENA and Southeast Asia, and through Lookfantastic, Sephora, Holland & Barrett, Boots, and Superdrug.

Founded in 1981, JD Sports Fashion plc, more commonly known as JD Sports or JD, is a UK-based sports fashion and multichannel retailer with stores throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

WHY: Backed by a substantial acquisition war chest, the latest investment supports JD's growth strategy and focus on international expansion in the US, Europe, and Asia.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "We are very proud to be the first beauty business to partner with JD on its venture into the beauty industry," said co-founder Hill in a statement, "With our ability to create amazing products and market through social media, supplemented by JD's consumer connection, financial power and global scale, we see great potential to build the Hairburst brand and acquire other brands within the sector."

JD Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill said, "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."


  • JD Sports acquired a majority stake in Hairburst. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Hairburst was started with a £4,000 investment by the co-founders and has grown to a team of 45 and 1.5 million followers on social media.
  • The financial backing will support Hairburst's strategy to build a portfolio of beauty brands through bolt-on acquisitions.
  • JD Sports is experiencing tremendous growth with the business rising in value to £11.4 billion after seeing record profits and sales. Earlier this month, it reported six-month pre-tax profit to July 31 of £364.6 million from just £41.5 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to £3.88 billion from £2.54 billion.
  • In recent months, JD has been on an acquisition spree, snapping up Spain's Deporvillage, MIG in Poland, and DTLR in the US. They also acquired two high-end, multi-brand independent retailers: Manchester-based Oi Polloi and Wellgosh in Leicester.

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