After operating for over 20 years, former independent boutique Oi Polloi is closing down, per Drapers. It’s understood that the retail entity will relaunch under one of the owner JD Sports group’s multiple brands and holdings, which include the eponymous JD Sports, size? and Footpatrol in their native UK, plus Shoe Palace and Finish Line in the US, among other retailers.
Oi Polloi was founded in 2002 by Nigel Lawson and Steve Sanderson, quickly establishing a loyal customer base from Manchester and abroad. They were one of the premier carriers of brands essential to UK style, including adidas Spezial and Clarks Originals. In fact, two of Oi Polloi’s greatest collaborations came by way of these two brands, delivering the Ardwick and ‘unicorn leather’ Wallabees, respectively.
The JD group purchased Oi Polloi in 2021 and placed it under the control of Peter Cowgill. According to Drapers, Lawson and Sanderson approached JD with the intention to purchase back the company they founded, but the current owners reportedly intend on keeping their acquisition.
It’s not yet announced what will happen with Oi Polloi and which JD sub-brand it will become. JD did not respond to enquiries from various media outlets. The news has upset regular customers, including former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher:
Oi Polloi closing down noooooooooooooooo ffs there is no GOD— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) March 9, 2023