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Indoor Golf Concept That Takes Vacant Department Store Space Gets Private Equity Backing

Swingers' Oxford Street location

Cain International has bought a stake in the company behind indoor crazy golf concept Swingers, and will help it to expand in the U.K. and U.S.

Cain said it made a "significant investment" (but didn't disclose how much) in Competitive Socialising, which was founded in 2014 by Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds. Competitive Socialising will be targeting more launches for Swingers in the U.S. and also launching a second concept in the U.K.

Swingers combines themed indoor crazy golf (aka mini golf in the U.S.) with cocktail bars and multiple street food vendors. It has two U.K. locations, 18K SF in the City and 21K SF in West End, and will soon open a 22K SF branch at the Virgin Hotel in Manhattan.

Its London West End branch is perhaps the most interesting. It opened on Oxford Street in a space previously occupied by department store BHS, which went bankrupt in 2016. The concept, and others in the experiential retail and leisure sphere, have been touted as a good fit for the large floorplates being vacated by department stores on both sides of the Atlantic.

Other leisure and lifestyle brands owned by Cain include The St. James, a health, wellness and active entertainment business whose flagship 450K SF complex near Washington, D.C., opened in September 2018; Mortimer House, a members’ club and coworking space and restaurant in Fitzrovia, London; and AllBright, a group of women’s members’ clubs in London and Los Angeles.