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JD plots international expansion as Oxford Street opening looms

JD Sports Fashion is planning to expand internationally and in more regional UK cities as the opening of its Oxford Street megastore draws near.

The sportswear business will unveil its store on the eastern side of Oxford Street store “imminently” after having taken an assignment of the lease of the 34,500 sq ft unit from Next, which is said to have around 10 years remaining, in January.

It will be JD’s second store on the street, with the other located at number 268-269.

JD said it will open further “substantial” stores in Glasgow, Newcastle and Amsterdam. The Glasgow shop, located at a former Gap store at 87-91 Argyle Street, is 23,500 sq ft and will open later this summer. The 2,370 sq ft Dutch store will open in September in Amsterdam Centrum. The exact location of the Newcastle store is not yet known.

One young fashion source told Drapers the retailer is now setting its sights on international expansion and is in talks with partners to bring JD to the Far East.

JD confirmed to Drapers it has received “numerous approaches” over recent years to develop its fascia overseas including certain territories within the Far East. It said they are “being considered” but are not an “immediate priority”.

Meanwhile JD is also expanding its young fashion multi brand fascia Ark, with sources indicating it could open up to 20 stores over the next two years.

One insider said: “Ark will open four or five stores in the next couple of months and they are aiming for 20 over the next couple of years. They are picking up a few old Bank stores to do it. They are also closing the Leeds buying office to bring everything central in [the JD head office in] Bury.”

JD said new Ark stores will be considered on a “store by store basis”.

JD currently has 351 JD Sports shops in the UK and Ireland and 65 in Europe.

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