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JD Sports inks deal with Four Marketing

JD Sports Fashion and Four Marketing Group, which owns premium menswear etailer Oki-ni, have formed a joint venture under the name of Premium Fashion Ltd to retail fascia.

According to a statement issued by JD Sports Fashion last night, the venture between the sportswear giant and brand agency will “focus on men’s multibrand stores” and will “present a new and compelling retail fascia”.

The venture could see JD’s menswear chain Cecil Gee, which it acquired from Moss Bros in June, rebranded as Oki-ni or could it mean an entirely new retail name brought into the premium menswear market.

In September, Drapers reported that JD was close to signing a deal with Oki-ni and would rebrand its Cecil Gee chain as Oki-ni. At the time it was understood that JD would revamp at least part of Cecil Gee’s eight store portfolio under the Oki-ni fascia as it looked to move into the premium menswear market.

Under Premium Fashion, growth is planned through strategic openings and new retail spaces showcasing iconic brands alongside niche, direction brands.

Fourmarketing, which also owns menswear indie Woodhouse and distributes brands including Stone Island and Paul and Shark, opened an Oki-ni store in Esher in September.

JD rival Sports Direct has also been making moves into the premium market over the last year, with chief executive Mike Ashley splashing out £7m on branded chain USC and designer chain Cruise from Sir Tom Hunter in July.

Readers' comments (2)

  • This could signal a very interesting shake-up in the menswear market. I wonder what the brand mix will be like there and whether JD will look to offer similar brands to those in Cruise.

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  • Cecil Gee already house some of the branding that 4 marketing hold and distribute. It will make stock movements and overall product placement a lot easier. Certain brands such as Stone Island and CP Company are hard to place. This will eliminate the prospect of negative allocation. Under Moss, Gee didn't have the spending power now JD have it that will change. It will drive down the margins of JD sports as they have a working partnership with 4marketing. Making Cecil Gee a more competitive menswear business model. Overall brand mix will only increase, it is interesting to note however how True religion is not mentioned. Premium denim is a key factor of 4marketing and for Cecil Gee.

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