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JD Sports reportedly considering offloading brands to focus on sports model

By Rachel Douglass

26 Sept 2022

Business

Image: Daniel Gual/URW

Retail group JD Sports is reportedly in talks to potentially offload a number of its brands within its fashion and beauty portfolio as it looks towards sports and outdoor focused business models.

According to Drapers, a source said that the company, which owns the likes of Tessuti, Size? and Go Outdoors, is possibly considering selling some of its acquired brands that don’t fit with its strategy back to their previous owners or offering them to the market.

Another source told the publication: “For the last few years [JD] has mopped up brands in distress. If you look at its portfolio, it’s vast. But if they’re not generating to the bottom line, they will be seen as a headache.”

Drapers noted JD Sports had declined a request to comment on the matter.

Its initial acquisition-focused strategy was implemented by the group’s former chairman Peter Cowgill.

The businessman left the company in May 2022 following disputes over ill-conceived acquisitions and sizable bonus checks, and was later replaced by former B&Q executive Régis Schultz in August.

Cowgill set to return among financial headwinds

However, this week it was revealed Cowgill was set to return to the company on the basis of a consultancy agreement.

The retail group is expected to pay him over five million pounds and will place restrictions on his work with competitors and other JD employees.

The potential offloading talks come as the sportswear retailer announced that its pre-tax profits had slipped 18 percent year-on-year to 298.3 million pounds from February to July 30, despite seeing a sales increase of 13.7 percent.

Additionally, in its interim results, JD Sports non-executive chair Andrew Higginson, warned of a “cautious” outlook for the second half of the year.

Higginson cited “widespread macroeconomic uncertainty” and “inflationary pressures” as the main cause for the warning.

JD Sports