Riata Capital Group (“Riata”) today announced that its portfolio company, WSS (“WSS” or the “Company”), a Los Angeles-based premier athletic specialty footwear and apparel retailer, has entered into a strategic relationship with the Dallas Cowboys. The relationship will bring together the Dallas Cowboys’ world-class brand with WSS and its core Hispanic and Latino customer base and provide for distribution of Dallas Cowboys’ merchandise across all WSS retail platforms.
WSS currently operates 80 athletic footwear and related apparel retail stores serving Hispanic and Latino neighborhoods in California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas, and plans to open 50 to 75 additional stores in Texas over the next four to five years. WSS stores average approximately 11,000 square feet and offer a broad selection of top name brands including Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Vans, Converse, Puma, Reebok, and Fila, complemented by its own private label brands that provide additional value and selection for its customers. The Dallas Cowboys’ brand, the preeminent franchise in all of sports worldwide, is also the most popular in the NFL among Hispanic and Latino consumers across North America.
Commenting on this new relationship with the Cowboys, Mr. Alon said, “From the first time that I sat down with the passionate and visionary Jerry Jones, I was struck by his keen understanding and infectious excitement for our WSS concept. The Cowboys have been NFL pioneers in building their brand worldwide and recognizing the importance of the Hispanic and Latino consumer to their franchise. For me, as important as the business side of this, they share and actively participate in our mission of elevating our neighborhoods, one step at a time and of giving back to the communities we serve.”
WSS President and former President and CEO of both Footlocker and Champs Sports, Rick Mina, stated, “We could not be more excited about this strategic relationship with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family. The blue star resonates with our customers in a very special way. The Cowboys and the Jones family operate at an elite level and bring resources way beyond capital that will help us continue to build our brand and execute the strategic growth of WSS.”
The strategic relationship between WSS and the Cowboys was orchestrated by Dallas-based Riata and comes on the heels of WSS successfully opening its first stores in Texas. “It has been a pleasure to help this alliance come together between two best-in-class organizations,” commented Barron Fletcher, co-managing partner of Riata. “And we are excited about the future for WSS and the company’s continued strong growth and performance that will only be enhanced by this relationship with the Cowboys.”
Since closing its investment in WSS in October 2016, Riata has been actively investing, having completed 11 acquisitions, with several acquisitions pending. Riata is focused on investments in the business services, consumer, and healthcare services sectors. In addition to investing behind the theme of the continued secular growth and development of the Hispanic demographic with WSS, Riata is focused on themes of an aging population, increased eye pathology, and physician consolidation with Acuity Eyecare Group, and technology-enabled products and services with Extract Companies.
Riata Capital Group, LLC. is a leading Dallas-based private equity investment firm that partners with seasoned management teams to invest in growing, profitable, privately-held companies in three core industry sectors – Business Services, Consumer, and Healthcare Services. Over the last 25 years, the principals of Riata have sponsored over 59 platform investments and 85 add-on acquisitions representing over $4.5 billion in transaction value. With extensive investment experience, a balanced team with both financial and operating expertise, a strong team of seasoned operating partners, and deep experience in its three targeted sectors, Riata provides entrepreneurs and management teams the support they need to build exceptional middle market companies. (www.riatacapital.com)
WSS is a premier footwear and apparel retailer in the U.S. doing business in inner-city, neighborhood-based stores. Consumers trust WSS for the best brands and largest selection of athletic, dress, fashion, work and casual footwear for the entire family. WSS’ large store format enables us to showcase thousands of styles from top name brands like Nike, Jordan, adidas, Vans, Converse, Puma, Reebok, Fila, Timberland, etc. In addition, WSS carries high quality private brands augmenting the breadth of selection to deliver amazing value to our customers. Founded in Southern California in 1984 by entrepreneur Eric Alon, WSS has grown to 80 stores in the southwest.
WSS is committed to giving back to the communities they serve, partnering in over 350 local events each year. Stay connected to @shopWSS via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.shopWSS.com.