Pentland is the name behind some of the world’s best sports, outdoor and fashion brands. We own Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Speedo, Boxfresh, Brasher, Ellesse, KangaROOS, Mitre, Prostar, Red or Dead and Franco Sarto. We are also the global licensee for Lacoste Chaussures and Ted Baker footwear, the UK licensee for Kickers, and are shareholders in Butterfly Twists and Hunter Boot.
The Group is also the majority owner of JD Sports Fashion plc, which operates over 800 sports, fashion and outdoor stores across Europe.
With annual sales of USD $3 billion across 200 countries, our brands are loved by people the world over.
We’re a third-generation, family-owned business – and we retain strong family values. We care about people, and that’s what drives our day-to-day work. This means creating products that meet the demanding standards expected by our customers. It means hiring the best people and making sure we support them to achieve their best. And it means striving to ensure that our suppliers and other partners work in the same, people-centred way.
We’re a business with guts: we speak our mind and we take risks. Happy to take the lead and to make a stand about the things we believe in, we prioritise creativity and allow people and experiences to take us somewhere new. We are always moving forward. We never say never.
In 1932, our founders set up The Liverpool Shoe Company with little more than £100 base capital. The organisation began as a wholesaler but has evolved, over eight decades, into the global family of sports, outdoor and fashion brands that Pentland is today.
We have a lot to thank our founders for: not just for establishing a footwear business with firm foundations, but for giving us the sense of adventure and risk-taking that has allowed us to venture into new areas as the business has evolved.
By 1946, the Liverpool Shoe Company had expanded into manufacturing, and it continued its growth well into the 1960s, acquiring other footwear-producing companies and developing its product range to cover men’s, women’s and children’s ranges.
These early risks and successes sowed the seeds of our current – and future – growth. Ever since our inception, we’ve been following in our founders footsteps, continuing to expand and to branch out in new directions. The timeline below sets out the twists and turns of our journey so far.
1932: The Liverpool Shoe Company takes its first steps.
We start to manufacture shoes and continue to grow the business.
1964: We’re one of the first European companies to source shoes in Asia, which allows us to accelerate growth. We start a Hong Kong company, which remains at the heart of our sourcing business.
1964: We float the company on the London Stock Exchange – going public opens up new and exciting opportunities.
1973: We change the company name to Pentland Industries Ltd.
1978: We set up the Airborne brand, selling skateboards, shoes, handbags, luggage and sportswear.
1981: We buy a 55% stake in a small athletic footwear brand called Reebok USA for $77,500.
1982: Forging new ground – Reebok launches the world’s first shoe designed for aerobic exercise.
1984: We buy a 55% stake in Reebok International. A turning point for Reebok is the introduction of coloured running shoes.
Mid 1980s: We are appointed UK distributor for Italian tennis and ski brand Ellesse and fashion footwear brand Kickers.
1989: We change from Pentland Industries to Pentland Group.
1990 – 1991: We buy 80% of leading performance swimwear brand Speedo (Europe) and acquire Speedo International and Speedo Australia.
1991: We sell our share in Reebok for $770 million.
1991: We build a strong relationship with the Lacoste family and become the worldwide footwear licensee for its French tennis fashion brand, Lacoste Chaussures.
1993: We begin a period of growth in sports and outdoor brands by adding outdoor footwear and clothing brand Berghaus, outdoor footwear brand Brasher, and Italian tennis and ski brand Ellesse to our family of owned brands.
1995: The original football brand, Mitre International, joins the Pentland family. We also buy London fashion label Red or Dead, athletic fashion footwear brand KangaROOS and US fashion footwear brand Franco Sarto.
1999: We privatise the company and return to a fully owned family business again.
2001: We become the worldwide licensee for London fashion brand Ted Baker footwear.
2005: Expanding our sports portfolio even further, we buy 57% of JD Sports Fashion plc.
2006: We buy the London fashion brand Boxfresh and a share of the original wellington boot brand Hunter Boot Ltd.
2010: We buy team sports brand Prostar.
2012: We purchase a share of the folding ballet pump shoe brand Butterfly Twists and buy the 'original' rugby brand Canterbury.
We don’t just strive for excellence, we expect it in all areas of our business – and we do our best to bring out excellence in our people and partners.
So we like it when others recognise our success, both as a business and an employer. We have won a number of prestigious international awards in recognition of excellence, best practice, innovation and outstanding business achievements. So whether you’re a customer, partner or a potential employee, you can be sure that you’re in safe hands.
We are honoured to have won five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. These are the most prestigious UK awards for business performance.
Most recently, we were awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for 2013.
In 2008, we were voted the best family business in the UK by the Institute for Family Business.
In 2012 we entered the UK’s Best Workplaces awards for the first time. We were placed higher than any other sports company and were the only fashion or outdoor business to make the top 25.
The judges noted that Pentland does “a great job of putting its employees first", and were particularly impressed with “the way the company culture and lifestyle shows through, generating real internal pride and enthusiasm for its brands and business".
In 2003, when our global HQ in north London was completed, it was awarded best corporate workplace in the UK.