CriticalPoint Capital (CPC)-controlled run retailer JackRabbit last week acquired certain assets and liabilities of the 45-year-old, family-owned Olympia Sports chain for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes the Olympia’s online presence and the Olympia Sports brand.
JackRabbit will retain the Olympia banner, but only about half of the chain’s current 150 locations, which stretch from Maine to Virginia. Half of Olympia’s 16 doors in its home state will reportedly shutter. JackRabbit aims to grow its managed door count to 135 by Jan. 31.
Under the leadership of Ed Manganello, Olympia’s president and founder, the chain expanded steadily in the mid-1990s and into the 2000s by opening up in strip centers in local towns that lacked a large retail presence, and by focusing its merchandise mix on localized assortments. In 2016, the Olympia opened a high-profile, 15,000-sq. ft. store at Patriot Place, a lifestyle center outside Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots. But the rise of internet shopping, slowing traffic in enclosed malls and the expansion of Dick’s Sporting Goods footprint across the region put increased pressure on Olympia’s overall business.
Bill Kirkendall, CEO of JackRabbit, confirmed the retention of the Olympia banner in an email to us. JackRabbit, he said, would continue Olympia’s longtime merchandise focus on team gear and licensed sports merchandise but also bring its strength in performance running into Olympia’s footwear assortments.