Fox-Wizel Ltd. (TASE: FOX) is continuing its shopping spree to expand operations. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the group is in talks to buy Nike brand stores in Israel. If an agreement is reached, Fox will become the exclusive franchisee for Nike Israel stores, however, distribution to retailers will be handled by Nike International.
Fox is conducting talks in two separate channels in parallel: one is with the global company, which is interested in transferring the operations to Fox Group, and the other is with the Nike franchisees in Israel. There are 27 Nike brand stores in Israel, operated by seven different franchisees, and Fox will need to reach separate agreements with each of the franchisees.
The current franchisees include: Joey Schwebel and Chanan Elituv’s Gottex Brands (otherwise known as Zara Israel Group), which owns rights to Zara, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti , Bershka and Gap chains; Wertheimer Sport owner Roni Wertheimer; Vendome owner Eitan Pollak; and former Tiv Ta’am owner Dubi Schneidman, who is meant to open another brand store in the Ramat Aviv mall.
Nike International thinks the brand is not realizing its potential in Israel. For this reason, the company began opening mega-stores for the brand, called Nike Factory Store, under the direct management of Nike International, not the company branches in Israel. Such stores have opened in Bilu Center and Eilat, and there are plans to open two more - one in Jerusalem, and another in the Haifa area.
With the transfer of the Nike chain to Fox Group, the Nike Factory Stores would be transferred to Fox management as well.
Fox is seeking to increase its penetration in the sports market, and is also in talks to become the Foot Locker sports chain franchisee in Israel.
Nike is another growth engine for Fox Group, which today owns the Fox, Fox Home, American Eagle, The Children’s Place, Laline (50%), and Billabong (50%) stores, and Charles & Keith footwear, which opened its first store in Kanyon Hazahav.
A month ago, the group signed an agreement to buy 50% of the fashion chain Yanga for NIS 9 million. This deal has not yet been closed. Fox Group declined to comment for this report.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 11, 2014
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014