Sweaty Betty bought by US firm for £300million two decades after it was founded in Notting Hill

Upmarket British sportswear brand Sweaty Betty has been snapped up by a US firm in a £300 million deal.

The brand, which is known for its figure-hugging leggings, confirmed on Tuesday that it has struck a deal to be acquired by footwear and lifestyle group Wolverine Worldwide.

The firm was founded in Notting Hill in 1998 by Tamara Hill-Norton and husband Simon Hill-Norton.

It has rapidly expanded to operate its own chain of stores across the UK and Asia – with 60 stores worldwide.

The firm also operates concessions in the likes of Selfridges and 99 Nordstrom stores in the US.

‘We founded Sweaty Betty in 1998 with the purpose to empower women through fitness, and today we are delighted to have found the right partner in Wolverine Worldwide, a company that is perfectly positioned to support the acceleration of our mission,’ said Tamara and Simon Hill-Norton in a joint statement.

The firm was founded in Notting Hill in 1998 by Tamara Hill-Norton and husband Simon Hill-Norton (pictured)

The firm was founded in Notting Hill in 1998 by Tamara Hill-Norton and husband Simon Hill-Norton (pictured)

The firm was founded in Notting Hill in 1998 by Tamara Hill-Norton and husband Simon Hill-Norton (pictured)

‘We’re so proud to have built an incredible community of active women who inspire us daily and are excited to see this powerful and supportive community grow worldwide.’

Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: ‘The acquisition of Sweaty Betty complements our strategic shift over the last several years from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-obsessed, digital-focused growth company.

‘It also gives us a leadership position in the growing women’s activewear category.’

Blake Krueger (pictured), Wolverine's chairman and chief executive officer

Blake Krueger (pictured), Wolverine's chairman and chief executive officer

Blake Krueger (pictured), Wolverine’s chairman and chief executive officer

Sweaty Betty’s chief executive officer, Julia Straus, will continue to lead the brand and will report to Wolverine president Hoffman.

Ms Straus said: ‘From the moment I met the team at Wolverine Worldwide, I knew they were the right partner to support us in the next chapter of Sweaty Betty.

‘Their portfolio of purpose-driven heritage brands, knowledge and expertise in building performance brands, robust international distribution and supply chain expertise provides a strong platform to expand Sweaty Betty and further our mission to empower more women through fitness all over the world.’

After launching the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998, the business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation ‘sports retailer of the year’

By 2003 the brand had expanded to five boutiques. And three years later the company was opening a concession in upmarket Selfridges and later in Harrods.  

The firm continued to boom, despite the arrival of big-name rivals, and by 2016 the company had more than 40 boutiques around the UK, six in the US.

Sweaty Betty also has four concessions in major department stores and a successful UK and US online store.

It has since branched out into Asia, with 60 stores in total across world and concessions in 99 Nordstrom stores in the US.

After launching the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998 (pictured: The current shop in Notting Hill), the business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation 'sports retailer of the year

After launching the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998 (pictured: The current shop in Notting Hill), the business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation 'sports retailer of the year

After launching the first Sweaty Betty store in Notting Hill in 1998 (pictured: The current shop in Notting Hill), the business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation ‘sports retailer of the year 

A-List celebrities including the likes of Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon and UK names such as the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, have in the past been pictured wearing the firm’s products. 

Hollywood actress Halle Berry – who starred in the James Bond film Die Another Day and the X-Men series – also teamed up with the firm to launch a collection earlier this year.

Selling its popular leggings for between £75 and £95, the London-based firm has benefited from a boom in popularity of so-called ‘athleisure’ clothing and fitter lifestyles in recent years. 

Hollywood actress Halle Berry - who starred in the James Bond film Die Another Day and the X-Men series - also teamed up with the firm to launch a collection earlier this year

Hollywood actress Halle Berry - who starred in the James Bond film Die Another Day and the X-Men series - also teamed up with the firm to launch a collection earlier this year

Hollywood actress Halle Berry – who starred in the James Bond film Die Another Day and the X-Men series – also teamed up with the firm to launch a collection earlier this year 

In 2020 it turned a profit as the pandemic boosted sales, with total revenues up 60 per cent, the company said in January.

According to its latest available full accounts on Companies House, Sweaty Betty made a turnover of £80million in the year to December 2019, up from £63million in the previous year. Losses had narrowed to £1.2million from £3.8million.

In a history page on its website, detailing the company’s rise, it says: ‘When Simon and I started Sweaty Betty we wanted to empower women through fitness and beyond. 

‘I had always lived this active lifestyle and I wanted everyone else to enjoy it. We’ve now opened 62 shops globally, from Notting Hill to San Francisco, having opened our first US shop in New York in 2013. 

‘I had always been so inspired by the healthy lifestyle over there so we knew we had to be part of it.’ 

According to the Guardian, a spokesperson for Sweaty Betty said that Mrs Hill-Norton, who was the company’s creative director until recently, would ‘continue to support the brand’.

She will also remaining chair of the trustees of the Sweaty Betty Foundation. The spokesperson did not say how much Ms Hill-Norton would make personally from the sale.

Meet the original Sweaty Betty who went from redundancy to becoming the face of a £300million sportswear brand loved by Holywood A-listers such as Reese Witherspoon

Tamara Hill-Norton and her husband Simon, the founders of Sweaty Betty, started the business in 1998. Pictured: Tamara won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001

Tamara Hill-Norton and her husband Simon, the founders of Sweaty Betty, started the business in 1998. Pictured: Tamara won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001

Tamara Hill-Norton and her husband Simon, the founders of Sweaty Betty, started the business in 1998. Pictured: Tamara won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001 

Tamara Hill-Norton – the real-life Sweaty Betty – had been made redundant when she had a thought – ‘women’s sportswear doesn’t serve women’. She had seen a gap in the market. 

Sportswear, typically, had previously been designed for men and then sized down and recoloured for women – ‘pink it and shrink’ as it was known to those in the industry at the time.

But what if there was a brand that made women’s sportswear, specifically for women?

The concept of Sweaty Betty was born.  After six months of pulling together a business plan and raising money, Tamara launched her first store in Notting Hill in 1998.

She had always been an entrepreneur at heart and, as a kid travelling around the world with her father in the Navy, she dreamed of running her own business.   

‘Even as a kid, I was just like, “I don’t want to work for anyone else, I know what I want to do, I want to run my own business!” I always had that streak in me,’ she said in a background piece on the Sweaty Betty website.

After finishing university she launched into a fashion career, originally as a buying assistant with a start-up firm called Knickerbox.

It was there she noticed the gap in the market that would become the inspiration behind her soon-to-be multi-million-pound businesses. 

But it would take a redundancy for her to have the time to develop the idea into a solid plan, with the support of her management consultant husband and business co-founder Simon. 

After launching the first store in 1998, their business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation ‘sports retailer of the year’.

After launching the first store in Notting Hill in 1998, their business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation 'sports retailer of the year'

After launching the first store in Notting Hill in 1998, their business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation 'sports retailer of the year'

After launching the first store in Notting Hill in 1998, their business quickly grew and in 2001 it was named the Sports Industries Federation ‘sports retailer of the year’

By 2003 the brand had expanded to five boutiques. And three years later the company was opening a concession in upmarket Selfridges and later in Harrods.  

The firm continued to boom, despite the arrival of big-name rivals, and by 2016 the company had more than 40 boutiques around the UK, six in the US, four concessions in major department stores and a successful UK and US online store.

It has since branched out into Asia, with 60 stores in total across world and concessions in 99 Nordstrom stores in the US.

And the brand has built a loyal army of fans, including A-Listers such as Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon and UK names including the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, both of whom have been spotted in Sweaty Betty gear.

The business wasn’t the only thing growing either. Back at home, in the leafy west London suburb of Acton, where the couple own a million-pound semi-detached townhouse, Tamara and Simon’s family was expanding too.

Tamara and Simon have three children, including eldest Daisy, 21, who is running her own fashion business using reworked denim

Tamara and Simon have three children, including eldest Daisy, 21, who is running her own fashion business using reworked denim

Tamara and Simon have three children, including eldest Daisy, 21, who is running her own fashion business using reworked denim

The couple now have three children, including eldest Daisy, 21, who is running her own fashion business using reworked denim.

Daisy regularly posts snaps in sun-soaked locations around the world and has even posed in Sweaty Betty items with her friends.

She also shares surfing pictures in West Wittering in West Sussex, where the family have a £1million weekend home.

Tamara told the Telegraph in 2017: ‘At the weekend we get away to our house in West Wittering as much as possible.

‘We live a very active lifestyle, so we’ll often do water-sports or go for a run down the beach.

‘I then like to relax at home with food from my husband’s amazing vegetable garden and a home-made Negroni.’ 

Their other children are Honor, 18, who is an art student, studying in Brighton, and their youngest is, Luke, 14.

According to a profile on the company’s website, Tamara’s favourite exercise is to run down the Thames from Acton to Hammersmith Bridge.

She also cycles half-an-hour from her home to the company’s office in Putney three days a week and regularly takes part in group runs with her staff.

<!—->

Advertisement

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 102 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply