Investor puts $10 million into Finish Line e-commerce effort
Private equity firm Gart Capital Partners is investing $10 million into Finish Line Inc.’s efforts to tap into the $1 billion specialty running market with the launch this spring of Run.com.
Finish Line, No. 174 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says Run.com will offer consumers content, community and commerce. It did not say when the site will launch.
Last year Finish Line bought an 18-store retail chain with the intention of expanding the number of stores and creating an e-commerce business around it. It forms the basis of Finish Line's Running Specialty Group.
Gart Capital Partners will oversee daily operations of the group as well as merchandising and the acquisition of additional running store operators, Finish Line says. Finish Line, which retains majority ownership in the group, will provide logistics, marketing and information technology support.
Finish Line says Gart Capital Partners is a good fit for this project because of its experience in a 12-year venture with Vail Resorts Inc. that involved more than 150 ski-related shops generating a combined total of $200 million in annual sales.
"Like the ski retail business, customers within specialty running prize a shopping experience that is expert, highly localized and infused with the sport's unique culture," says Glenn Lyon, Finish Line chairman and CEO.