Branded athletic footwear retailer with locations primarily in Southern California (at time of investment) that are typically located in Hispanic neighborhoods


Gardena, CA


Consumer retail

Investment Type

Participating Preferred Equity


$18 million


Acquired by Foot Locker

Transaction Dynamics

  • New management team identified several value-creation initiatives but needed capital to execute the plan.
  • Our structured equity (1) provided sufficient capital for the team to executive on the value-creation initiatives and (2) allowed the founder and management team to retain significant ownership.

Investment Thesis

  • Fast Growing Target Consumer – Buyer power among Hispanics has grown tremendously and the growth of athletic footwear has exceeded non-athletic footwear
  • Differentiated Concept – Hispanic consumers are not well served by traditional U.S. retailers
  • Long Operating History of 30+ Years 
  • Strong Management – CEO has decades of footwear retail experience and previously was the CEO of Champs Sports and Foot Locker

Post-Closing Initiatives

  • Expanded to Texas – entered Texas market shortly after our investment with significant opportunity for further expansion
  • Added Omni-Channel – developed mobile-phone application & added e-commerce
  • Implemented ERP System

“In 2016, WSS was at an inflection point.  Our management team and founder developed a list of value creation initiatives; however, capital was needed to execute the plan.  Given Jay and Kevin’s relevant industry investment experience, they understood WSS’ business model and believed in our vision.  They provided capital that allowed management to execute the plan, which produced an outstanding outcome for all our stakeholders.”

Rick Mina, CEO of WSS