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JD Sports buys Ark out of administration

JD Sports Fashion has acquired mini-chain Ark out of administration, saving 10 of its 14 stores and 160 jobs.

Ark entered administration earlier this week, with Begbies Traynor called in to deal with the business.

The deal with JD, which was struck today, will see the indie continue to trade from its Leeds office. The current management team has been retained and all but 40 positions throughout the business have been saved.

“Uneconomic” stores in Norwich, Cambridge, Merry Hill and Manchester have been closed down.

A spokesperson for JD Sports Fashion said: “We are delighted to have added the Ark fascia to our young fashion offer which brings with it some leading brands and a successful own brand offer (Cloak and Hearts and Bows). 

“We look forward to supporting the established management team to develop the business further.”

Tom Edge, director of Rett Retail and Ark Fashion, added: “Becoming part of the JD group is the best deal for all those involved in Rett Retail and we look forward to working with them for an exciting future.”

David Acland, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “This sale has protected a large number of vital jobs in the retail sector. At the same time, it enables JD Sports to continue its ambitious expansion plans, following on as it does from other key strategic acquisitions earlier in the year. It is no secret that many retail businesses are facing a hugely challenging environment at the moment, and this deal is a welcome piece of good news for the sector.”


Readers' comments (3)

  • J.D will almost certainly change the direction of Ark, as it didn't work in it's current format. However, J.D have made some odd purchases in the past and this one isn't all it's cracked up to be. Either way, Ark is no longer an independent.

    Some Indies get carried away and expand to the point where it becomes counter productive. You can have as many shops as you like, but if you aren't making a profit, you have no right to exist.

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  • Great move by JD.
    They have just updated their portfolio to cater solely for the Student/University customer.
    ARK will remain a key shopping destination for the student generation, the only other retailer that managed to do that was Cult; prior to going totally Superdry.

    ARK has remained on top of its game for years and years; it just goes to show that opening up in one wrong location can sink the finances of a firm.

    As long as Mr & Mrs Edge continue to purchase stock in the same manner they had done for the last 10 years or so, JD will find that this has been a great investment.

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  • Great investment by JD, Ark is a fantastic business that just needs a bit of TLC.

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