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JD eyes Red or Dead clothing deal for Bank

The John David Group is in talks with Red or Dead about a clothing licensing deal for its young fashion chain Bank after the sportswear company was boosted by sales of own label product.

Chief executive Barry Bown declined to give details about a potential Red or Dead deal but said: “We might do something with them.”
Young fashion brand Red or Dead is owned by Pentland Brands which is a subsidiary of Pentland Group, a majority shareholder of the John David Group. Pentland Brands already has a licensing deal for footwear with Scottish chain Schuh.

The John David Group saw pre-tax profit rocket 103% to £35 million for the 53 weeks to February 2. Sales were up 11.6% to £592m.
The group said that the exceptional performance was down to strong buying, merchandising and performance by its own brands, which include McKenzie, Cabrini, Rivington and Brook-haven. Strong own-label performance in the company’s sports chain, JD, is believed to have driven discussions about a tie-up with Red or Dead, which would effectively be run as an own label, for Bank.

The John David Group has been driving its investments in brands and is working on its first collection for Sergio Tacchini after it bought the UK licence for the Italian brand in December. Last year it also bought a major stake in Focus Group, which distributes several brands stocked by the JD fascia.

Bown said: “This performance is actually on the back of three years of good growth. Our own brands are doing well and we’re expecting great things from Sergio Tacchini. It’s a brand with a great heritage.”

The company will also introduce the Bench and K-Swiss clothing to its JD stores this summer. It said trading had been “encouraging” given the timing of Easter and the weather.

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