Footasylum is a fast-growing footwear and fashion retailer that was established by the founders of JD Sports and is now trading through around 60 stores, a couple of which  are under new offshoot brands Drome and Sevenstore.

Footasylum is a multichannel retailer and generates around 40% of its sales online. The company has invested significantly in its online offer to improve the customer experience and has recently overhauled its IT systems to drive growth. It is also considering launching localised sites in Europe to cater for demand from overseas customers.

Footasylum continued its post-pandemic sales recovery in the year to end-January 2023 (FY2022). Total sales rose 6.0% to £297.7m, as an 18.8% increase in store sales was offset by an 8.5% decline in online sales as trading patterns normalised in the wake of the pandemic. Profits came under pressure, however, with pre-tax profit slumping 74.7% to £2.8m, reducing its margin from 4.0% to just 0.9%.  

The saga surrounding the £90m acquisition of Footasylum by JD Sports – announced in March 2019 – has also eventually been closed.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) undertook a second investigation after its initial decision to block the deal in May 2020 was overturned later in the year by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

The CMA made the decision to prohibit the acquisition and in mid 2022, JD Sports sold Footasylum to German investment group Aurelius for £37.5m, having been ordered to dispose of it by the CMA.

Innovation rating: 2.5

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