The Top National stories and the Latest headlines across the Active Lifestyle Market for the week of September 14, 2020 covered in the SGB Updates — delivered to your inbox every business day.


— September 18, 2020 —

›Report: Lululemon May Sign Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler, the star guard of the Miami Heat, is reportedly on the verge of a partnership with Lululemon, according to a report from ESPN. Read more

›FP Movement To Open First Stores
FP Movement, Free People’s activewear subbrand, is opening its first stand-alone location in Century City, CA on October 16, followed by a store in Boulder, CO on November 27. Read more

›Camping World Announces 75 Percent Increase In Special Quarterly Dividend
Camping World Holdings Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 75 percent increase in the company’s quarterly special dividend paid to holders of the company’s Class A Common Stock from 8 cents per share to 14 cents per share. Read more

— September 17, 2020 —

›Deloitte Predicts Modest Holiday Gains
Holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast. Deloitte also forecasts that e-commerce sales will grow by 25 percent to 35 percent, year-over-year, during the 2020-2021 holiday season, compared to sales increasing by 14.7 percent in 2019. Read more

NCAA Picks Late-November Start For College Basketball Season
The Division I Council approved moving the first game date in Division I Men’s and Women’s basketball to November 25 for the 2020/21 season. Read more

Walmart Will Raise Wages For 165,000 Employees
Walmart is increasing pay for approximately 165,000 hourly workers across U.S. stores by introducing new leadership roles and “cross-training opportunities.” Read more

HanesBrands Pivots To Virtual Learning To Preserve Employee Continuing Education Program
HanesBrands is preserving its employee continuing education program in Central America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting to remote learning. Read more

Puma Golf Extends Contract With Gary Woodland
Puma Golf announced a multi-year extension of its relationship with PGA Tour professional and 2019 U.S. Open winner, Gary Woodland. Read more

Therabody Signs DeAndre Hopkins As Brand Ambassador
Therabody welcomed professional football player DeAndre Hopkins to the company as its newest investor and athlete brand ambassador. Read more

Hybrid Apparel Appoints New Licensing Lead
Hybrid Apparel, based in Cypress, CA, announced it has hired Colleen O’Neill as executive vice president, licensing & strategic partnerships, according to CEO Bill Hutchison. O’Neill becomes the company’s new licensing lead after Shaun Rachau transitions to a new position as executive vice president, digital & strategic growth. Read more

Tonal Announces $110M In New Capital
Tonal, the connected fitness startup based in San Francisco, CA supporting strength training, announced $110 million in new capital. New investors include Delta-v Capital, the Amazon Alexa Fund, and Mousse Partners, as well as athletes, Stephen Curry, Paul George and Michelle Wie. Read more

Target, Ulta Beauty, Walmart, And WeWork To Keynote ICSC’s Virtual Conference
ICSC announced a new virtual conference, Now & Next: Retail in the Age of COVID-19 to be held September 29 to 30, 2020. Keynote speakers include Brian Cornell, board chairman and CEO of Target; Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty; Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork; and Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International. Read more

NFL Jersey Sales Off To Strong Start
Fanatics, the NFL’s e-commerce partner, said NFL sales grew more than 35 percent over the opening weekend against last year’s numbers and set a record for the best start ever to a season. Read more

September 16, 2020 —

›Camping World Becomes Presenting Sponsor Of MLB National League Championship Series
Camping World Holdings and Major League Baseball announced a new element to the organizations’ multi-year partnership that names Camping World the presenting partner of the 2020 National League Championship Series on FOX and FS1. Read more

›Dutch E-Bike Firm VanMoof Raises $40 Million
E-bike manufacturer, VanMoof, has raised a $40 million investment from Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital and Balderton Capital. The funding brings VanMoof’s total capital raised to $73 million and furthers the e-bike brand’s mission of getting the next billion on bikes. Read more

August Retail Sales Grow As Pandemic Recovery Continues
Retail sales continued to recover from COVID-19 in August, showing a gradual improvement from July and larger gains year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said. Read more

Dick’s SG Settles $2.9 Million Wage Deal
Dick’s Sporting Goods agreed to pay $2.9 million in a settlement between the retailer and California retail workers over apparel costs and mandatory off-the-clock security checks according to a report from HR Dive. Read more

GNC To Be Sold To China’s Largest Drug Maker
GNC Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in June, is moving forward with plans to sell itself to its largest shareholder and original bidder, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., for approximately $760 million. Read more

Online Fitness Platform Zwift Raises $450M
Zwift, the online fitness platform for cyclists and runners, announced a $450 million minority investment led by leading global investment firm KKR, accompanied by other new investors Permira, Specialized Bicycle Components’ venture capital fund, Zone 5 Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund and existing investors including True, Highland Europe, Novator and Causeway Media. Read more

Foot Solutions Acquires Noene America
Foot Solutions, Inc. announced the acquisition of Noene (pronounced “Know-EEN) America. Read more

›Rawlings Inks Exclusive Licensing Agreement With UCLA
Rawlings entered into a multi-year exclusive agreement with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) involving its vast line of tailgating products effective April 1, 2021. Read more

Fleet Feet Launches Fit Id. Personalized Footwear Experience
Fleet Feet announced the launch of integrated dynamic pressure mapping as part of the brand’s in-store outfitting experience, fit id. Read more

Town Sports International’s Debt Ratings Downgraded Due To Bankruptcy Filing
Town Sports International Holdings Inc., the parent of New York Sports Club and Boston Sports Clubs, saw its ratings lowered by S&P due to its move to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Read more

Blaser Group Appoints North American Director Of Sales
Blaser Group announced Derek Paul has joined the company as North American director of sales. In this role, Paul will be responsible for all commercial sales activities for Blaser, Mauser, Sauer, and Rigby rifles and Minox optics throughout North America. Read more

Springfield Armory Announces VP Of Sales
Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese announced the hiring of Russell H. Datson IV as vice president of sales. Read more

Olin Announces Partial Redemption Of Senior Notes
Olin Corporation, the parent of Winchester, announced today that it has notified bondholders that it intends to redeem $600 million of outstanding 9.75 percent senior notes due October 15, 2023. Read more

Apex Global Brand’s Q2 Sales Slip 21 Percent
Apex Global Brands reported sales declined 21.4 percent in the second quarter ending August 1. The net loss came to $1.3 million, or $2.38 a share, in-line with the year-ago period. The owner of Hi-Tec, Magnum, Tony Hawk and other lifestyle brands also said it entered into an amended forbearance agreement with senior secured lender on September 1. Read more

— September 15, 2020 —

Flywheel Files For Bankruptcy, To Close Locations
Flywheel Sports, the cycling studio, has reportedly filed for Chapter 7 liquidation with a plan to close its remaining 28 locations.  Read more

Kohl’s Lays Off 15 Percent Of Corporate Staff
Kohl’s Corp. in a regulatory filing said that as of September 15 it took various actions to further align its cost base in response to the business impact resulting from COVID-19. Read more

›VF Releases 2020 VF Global Inclusion And Diversity Annual Profile
VF Corp. released the second edition of its VF Global Inclusion & Diversity Annual Profile.  The report is public for the first time. (Read More)

Hestra Splits Growing Western Territory, Adds New Reps
Hestra, the maker of gloves for outdoor activities, announced the division of its western territory and the hiring of Shannon Carey and Chuck Gerst to manage the new territories. Read more

Apple Launches New Fitness Service
Apple Inc. announced a new fitness subscription service, Fitness+, that will include 10 studio workouts including yoga, cycling, dance, rowing, strength training, and “mindful cooldowns.” Read more

Blink Fitness Offers Solutions To Help Members With Capacity Guidelines
Blink Fitness announced the launch of a new reservation system and capacity tracker allowing members to plan their next visit from the comfort of home. Read more

Swiss Running Brand ‘On’ Launches Sustainable Subscription Service
Swiss-based running brand, On, announced the launch of its subscription-based service to support recyclable sportswear to On customers worldwide. Read more

›Safilo Announces New Term Loan Facility
Safilo Group S.p.A. announced the signing of a new term loan facility for an amount of €108.0 million ($123 mm) to provide Safilo S.p.A. with additional liquidity to finance working capital and investment needs for activities located in Italy. Read more

PrimaLoft And Shanghai Challenge Textile Co. Enter Global Partnership Agreement
PrimaLoft, Inc. has entered into a partnership with fabric manufacturer Shanghai Challenge Textile Co., LTD to exclusively produce PrimaLoft performance fabrics. Read more

Canada’s MEC To Be Acquired By U.S. PE Firm
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC),  Canada’s largest outdoor chain with 22 stores, announced its board of directors has unanimously approved a deal in which a Los Angeles-based private investment firm will acquire MEC’s assets, including the majority of its retail stores. Vancouver-based MEC said the transition from a co-operative structure to a subsidiary of Kingswood Capital Management is needed to ensure a stable future for the business. Read more

Texworld USA And Apparel Sourcing USA Reformat Show
The largest sourcing event on the East Coast returns to the Javits Center in January 2021 with new dates, a new name and three ways to participate: Pop-up Sourcing Showcase, Traditional Exhibition and Virtual Platform. Read more

Simon Will Not Open Properties On Thanksgiving Day
Simon Property Group, one of the largest mall operators in the country, announced it will not open properties on Thanksgiving Day. Read more

September 14, 2020 —

›Hilo Nutrition Acquired By PE Firm
Highlander Partners, L.P., a middle-market private equity firm based in Dallas, announced the acquisition of Hilo Nutrition Inc., known for its pre-workout and recovery gummies. Read more

Industrial Revolution Appoints VP Of Sales
Industrial Revolution hired Chris Clark as vice president of sales. His previous experience includes Outdoor Research, Cascade Designs, and Brunton Outdoor. Read more

Sportsman’s Warehouse To Open In Chambersburg, PA
Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. plans to open a new store in Chambersburg, PA this month with a grand opening celebration to be held September 24 to 26. Read more

Camping World Announces Long-Term Goals, Initiatives And 2021 Outlook
Camping World Holdings released its long-term goals, initiatives and 2021 outlook highlights ahead of its annual Investor Day, including expectations for adjusted EBITDA to grow in the mid-single-digits over the next 5 years. Read more

Amazon To Hire 100,000 To Keep Up With Online Shopping Surge
Amazon announced that it is hiring an additional 100,000 regular employees throughout the U.S. and Canada on top of the 33,000 Corporate and Technology jobs announced last week. Read more

Short-Lead Bookings Dominate Lodging Patterns At Western Mountain Destinations
Lodging performance continued to improve during August at mountain western resorts in six states, but by many measures, the summer season is historically slow with two months of shoulder season still ahead. That assessment was delivered by DestiMetrics in their monthly Market Briefing by Inntopia. Read more

Strong Rebound At Southeast Destinations To Close Summer
Southeast destinations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina wrapped up their summer season with a resurgence in booking pace and steady growth in daily rates during the month of August, according to DestiMetrics, a division of Inntopia. Read more

CODI Appoints Managing Director And Head Of Business Development
Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI), the parent of 5.11, Liberty Safe, Marucci Sports and Velocity Outdoor, appointed Katie Melzer as managing director and head of business development. She was at Robert W. Baird & Co. Read more

REI Co-Op Sells Headquarters To Facebook
REI Co-op announced that it has completed the sale of its newly completed corporate campus in the Spring District neighborhood of Bellevue, WA, for a purchase price of $390 million. The 400,000-square-foot campus and approximately six acres of land were purchased by Facebook on September 14. Read more

Alterra Mountain Company Sets Plan For 20/21 Winter Operations
Alterra Mountain Company plans to limit daily lift tickets, prioritize access for season pass holders, eliminate walk-up window sales and discontinue the sale of most updated lift ticket products due to COVID-19 as part of its strategy to prepare for its 2020/21 Winter operations. Read more

Town Sports International Files For Bankruptcy
Town Sports International, the parent of New York Sports Club and Boston Sports Club, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company plans to keep its gyms open as it works to restructure its debt. Read more

NSSF, OSG Announce SHOT Show Media Partnership
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) announced a strategic partnership to drive media coverage and promotion for the 2021 SHOT Show and its exhibitors. Read more

2nd Skull Partners With MLB Players
Major League Baseball Players, Inc. announced a partnership with protective headgear company 2nd Skull Inc. The 2nd Skull brand will be officially licensed by MLB Players, Inc., which will also take an ownership interest in 2nd Skull and support the promotion of its brand and products across the sports equipment market and affiliated youth baseball and other sports organizations. Read more

Crocs Appoints President
Crocs Inc. announced that Michelle Poole has been appointed as president, Crocs, Inc. effective September 10, 2020. She will continue to report to Andrew Rees, CEO. Read more

Hibbett Sports Opens In Morgantown Mall
Hibbett Sports announced the opening of the newly relocated store in the Morgantown Mall in West Virginia. Read more

Evolution Wellness Launches Global Licensing Program For Fire Fitness
Evolution Wellness, one of Asia’s leading health club operator whose portfolio of brands also includes Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First, announced the launch of a global licensing program for its premium boutique gym brand, Fire Fitness. Read more

Puma Signs Neymar
Puma has signed Neymar to an endorsement deal after the Brazilian star forward recently left Nike. Said Bjørn Gulden, chief executive officer of Puma, “He is one of the best players in the world and extremely influential for the global football and youth culture.” Read more

Seafolly Names New CEO
Seafolly, the 45-year-old Australian swimwear maker, appointed Brendan Santamaria as its new CEO. The hire comes as the brand bounces back from voluntary administration and returns to former owners L Catterton. Read more

Technogym’s First-Half Revenues Slump 25 Percent
Technogym reported net earnings tumbled 75.5 percent as sales slumped 24.7 percent. The sales decline was due to the contraction in general sales volumes mainly due of pandemic related postponement of several projects on the Business to Business side. On the other hand, the growth of the Home & Consumer segment was significant with a gain of 50 percent. Read more

Fitbit Receives Regulatory Clearance For ECG App To Identify Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Fitbit has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as Conformité Européenne (CE) marking in the European Union, for its electrocardiogram (ECG) app to assess heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that affects more than 33.5 million people globally. Read more

Powerful Foods Closes First Pro Sports Team Deal
Powerful Foods said Inter Miami CF has become its first pro sports team partner. Read more

Scheels Rolls Out Mobile Checkout
Scheels, which has 28 stores,  has completed its initial implementation of the cloud-based Oracle Retail Xstore mobile POS platform and Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service to enable its employees to check out customers on selling floors. Read more

Imports Spike As Retailers Stock Up For Holidays
Imports surged to unexpectedly high levels this summer and may have hit a new record, as the U.S. economy continues to reopen and retailers stock up for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Read more

Illustration courtesy NPR