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Exclusive: JD Sports to close Ark

JD Sports is to close its young fashion fascia, Ark, putting 104 jobs at risk, Drapers can reveal.

The sportswear firm bought the mini-chain out of administration in 2013. JD Sports said it has begun a consultation process with all 104 employees affected across the seven stores and head office.

A statement from JD Sports issued to Drapers said: “The business has seven stores nationally, as well as its online offering, and we will be seeking to re-deploy as many of the affected employees and stores as possible. Our branded pure fashion business will focus, in the main, on our Tessuti and Scotts businesses, both of which are performing well.”

Ark stores are located in Derby, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Castleford and York. The shops are around 2,000 sq ft in size.

One young fashion source said he was not surprised by the move as Ark “doesn’t really have a massive point of difference to Scotts”, JD Sports’ other young fashion chain.

Ark stocks brands including Converse, Farah, Fred Perry and Superdry.

JD Sports sold another of its young fashion businesses, Bank, to a subsidiary of restructuring firm Hilco Capital in November 2014. The chain went into administration six weeks later on January 5 2015.

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