JD Sports Fashion has taken a stake in Yorkshire indie Mainline Menswear and is pledging to help support the business as it grows.
Drapers has learned that the group made an undisclosed investment in the Scarborough retailer, which was founded by former footballer Stuart Hicks in 2002.
The investment was made through a new company, Mainline Menswear Holdings, which was set up in mid-March.
JD chairman Peter Cowgill said: “It’s a great business. We’re just giving it more financial stability and strength in the market. It was a sensible partnership to make.”
Cowgill added the funds would “enable it to continue to grow” with the money allowing the store to “buy more stock and continue to expand”.
However, Cowgill would not elaborate on what this expansion could entail, saying it would be up to the directors at Mainline Menswear, which will continue to operate as a separate entity.
Mainline Menswear stocks a range of premium and young fashion brands including Lyle & Scott, Hugo Boss, Stone Island and Superdry.
In its most recent unaudited accounts filed at Companies House, the business had net assets of £2.98m in the year to November 30, 2013. It has just one store, on Huntriss Row, with sources indicating its website contributed the vast majority of its turnover.
JD has been prolific in its investment and acquisitions of smaller businesses over the past few years. Last November it bought a majority stake in multi-brand sports etailer ActivInstinct and last June acquired young fashion mini-chain Ark out of administration.
Mainline Menswear did not respond to requests for comment.