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Bike Apparel Firm Fox Racing Plots Expansion

Motocross and mountain bike apparel company Fox Racing’s growth plans extend from expanding its cycling product offerings to producing a full-length feature film to boost its visibility.

Another part of the Irvine-based outdoor retailer’s expansion plans is adding to its portfolio of brick-and-mortar locations, which now includes nine stand-alone spots.

Fox recently opened a new company store in Bentonville, Ark., at the end of May which marks the first retail opening following its sale to Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO) for $575 million last year.

Fox Racing has three company stores in Southern California, including one at its Irvine headquarters near The District shopping center in Tustin.

More of these stores, which Fox dubs as “experience centers,” are planned for the next several years, according to company officials.

“Our retail vision is to create immersive brand experiences that equip and inspire riders,” President Jeff McGuane said in a statement.

The grand opening of the newest 2,166-square-foot store corresponded with the city’s annual bike festival. Some of the store’s products are also available for customers to rent. Bentonville is considered one of the country’s premier mountain bike spots.

“We are thrilled to join the Bentonville community and support the riding movement in the region,” McGuane said.

Along with Fox’s company stores, its products are typically found among bike and sports retail dealers in the U.S., counting over 1,000 locations. In addition, over 40% of Fox’s business comes from outside the U.S., McGuane told the Business Journal last September.

Outdoor Leader

Fox Racing is among the largest units for Vista out of the 40 companies in its portfolio and is also the parent’s largest acquisition to date.

Fox brought in about $180 million in sales from the time of its sale in August 2022 to March 31, according to regulatory filings.

Vista’s fourth-quarter results last month cited headwinds in its outdoor products segment, of which Fox Racing is set to be a part of. The Minnesota-based parent, currently valued at $1.5 billion, announced plans in 2022 to split its outdoor and sporting goods businesses into two stand-alone public companies this year.

“We remain on track to complete the previously announced separation in calendar year 2023,” Vista interim Chief Executive Gary McArthur said in a statement.

“The key to completing the spin this calendar year will be establishing the Outdoor Products senior leadership team, a more stable macro-economic environment and improving Outdoor Product’s financial performance.”

Fox’s McGuane will head the action sports division once the split is complete.

Total sales were down 8% to $741 million for the fourth quarter. Vista’s outdoor sector reported $327 million in sales, off 5% from the prior year.

The local retailer is estimated to employ about 110 people at its 82,000-square-foot headquarters. The creative office building was acquired earlier this year by an industrial developer and is expected to make way for a new warehouse upon the end of Fox’s current lease.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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