Children’s wear retailer Janie and Jack is moving on from Gap Inc. to a new home at Jeff Streader’s Go Global Retail.
The operationally minded investment firm inked a deal to buy the 115-door retailer and has plans to expand on its mostly U.S. presence with an international push. The transaction is expected to close April 2.
Go Global’s investment partners in the deal include Axar Capital Management and MidCap Financial as well as two strategic investors, Dallas-based FB Flurry and Shanghai-based Ven Bridge.
This is at least the third life for Janie and Jack, which was founded in 2002 and has managed to thrive even when it was owned by the troubled children’s wear retailer Gymboree and was pulled down in that company’s bankruptcy. Gap paid $35 million to buy Janie and Jack’s assets in 2019, but lately has been focusing on its much larger Athleta and Old Navy businesses.
“We are survivors,” said Shelly Walsh, who will continue to lead Janie and Jack as general manager.
Children’s wear is one of the categories that managed to hold on through COVID-19. “The kids continued to grow and need clothes,” Walsh said. “And social media has honestly helped. With nothing else to do, moms are taking photos and stories [of their kids dressed up] and putting that out there in a different way than before.”
And Janie and Jack, which sells through its stores as well as through Saks Fifth Avenue, will be out there in a new way, too.
“We are in a great position, business is good,” Walsh said. “We know the brand is ready and primed for international expansion.”
That’s where Go Global comes in.
Streader, Go Global’s founder and managing partner, said his company is looking to bring its global outlook and operational expertise to bear and invest in digital capabilities such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics while operating Janie and Jack as a standalone operation.
“Janie and Jack right now has a solid operating model and we hope to enhance that,” Streader said. “We believe in the dual-channel strategy of both online and offline. We believe in brick-and-mortar as a two-pronged approach.”
Go Global works with financial investors and suppliers looking to extend their involvement down the supply chain. It previously bought ModCloth from Walmart Inc.
More from WWD: