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JD’s Open fascia to launch in September

JD Sports Fashion will launch the first stores for own-brand value concept Open in September.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill told Drapers it will open three or four stores in various locations across the UK that month.                    

He said the product, which is currently being developed, looked “really strong” and price points would focus on value, reducing the need for promotional activity. Prices are expected to be at a similar level to H&M, New Look and Primark. Cowgill added the range would be more fashion forward compared with its sportswear offer.

As reported by Drapers in January, the Open team is headed by former Blue Inc buying and design director Stephen Galea, who is managing director.

Cowgill said there had been an “uplift” in womenswear in its struggling fashion arm, with “encouraging signs” from Bank in particular. Bank reported losses of £6.4m in the year to February 1.

In an interim management statement released on Tuesday (June 17), JD Sports Fashion said it was “pleased with underlying performance” as the build-up to the football World Cup had boosted sales.

However, it declined to give like-for-like figures, saying they would be “misleading” because of the strong performance of sportswear brands JD and Size? in the run-up to the tournament.

The retailer said the Outdoor business was maintaining “positive progress” against weak comparatives in 2013 and it expects a “satisfactory” increase in first half profits in line with expectations.

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