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Footpatrol to return to the streets under JD Sports

JD Sports Fashion is to resurrect premium sneaker retailer Footpatrol after signing a deal to buy the business last week.

JD Sports Fashion chief executive Barry Bown told Drapers he was seeking a larger location for Footpatrol in central London and that the new store would stock both footwear and clothing. The previous shop in London’s Soho stocked fewer than 50 trainer styles.

Bown said he had no plans for a major retail roll out of the concept, but smaller satellite stores could open at a later date. “We want to keep the Footpatrol brand integrity to its highest level,” he explained.

Bown added that the business would be used to access exclusive top-tier product from sports brands Nike and Adidas. Footpatrol will sit above JD’s premium fashion and footwear concept, Size?.

“[Securing top-tier product] was part and parcel of the conversation,” said Bown. “Tier Zero from Nike is not readily available to other retailers.”

He added: “We recognised the synergies and it makes perfect sense to work together with the JD and Size? team to keep Footpatrol in its market positioning.”

In addition, Bown canned market speculation that JD planned to develop Footpatrol as an own label.

Footpatrol, which attracted sneaker freaks from around the world, closed its Soho shop in London in March this year, blaming high rents and increased costs. The store was founded in 2002 by Simon Porter and Michael Kopelman.

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