Hanover-based retailer DTLR Villa to be acquired by British retailer for $495 million

A British sports and outdoor apparel retailer plans to buy DTLR Villa, a Hanover-based urban apparel chain, for $495 million in cash.

JD Sports Fashion Plc, owner of Finish Line and several European sports apparel chains, said Monday that it will acquire DTLR, a nearly 40-year-old retailer with 247 U.S. stores.


DTLR, which runs stores in 19 states, sells itself as a shopping hub where young, trendsetting and multicultural consumers can find street-inspired footwear, apparel and accessories and brands such as Jordan, Nike and Adidas.

The retailer got its start as Downtown Locker Room and later rebranded under the DTLR name. It merged with Philadelphia-based Sneaker Villa in 2017 and is now majority-owned by BRS & Co., a New York-based private equity investment firm, and Goode Capital.


With BRS’ backing, “DTLR has been able to bring the company’s passion for expression, fashion, entertainment and community empowerment to a broader customer base,” Glenn Gaynor, DTLR’s co-CEO, said in an announcement Monday. “We look forward to partnering with JD management to serve a broader audience.”

Gaynor and DTLR co-CEO Scott Collins will continue to run the chain. The two executives will reinvest a portion of their proceeds back into the company in exchange for a new minority stake of about 1.4%.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports’ executive chairman, said the company plans to keep the DTLR name and focus.

JD Sports said it sees the East Coast-based DTLR as a complementary addition to its other chains in the United States, including Finish Line, JD Sports and San Jose-based Shoe Palace. JD Sports acquired the 167-store Shoe Palace in December for $325 million.

“This is another exciting milestone in the Group’s development in the United States,” Cowgill said. “Like Shoe Palace, DTLR pride themselves on the deep connection they have with their consumers and the active role they play in the communities that they serve.”

In the 12 months that ended Feb. 1, 2020, DTLR had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $46 million, JD said in its announcement. DTLR’s balance sheet showed gross assets of $293.7 million, the announcement said.