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JJB Sports determined to roll out new store concept

JJB Sports plans to roll out its “new era” storefit despite its recent financial difficulties, after recording an average sales uplift of 7% at revamped stores.
Sales at the first store to get a makeover, in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, are up 48% on this time last year. About 23 shops have received the new storefit over the past year.

The roll-out strategy comes as a surprise given that the sportswear retailer ran into difficulty with financing last month.

It was bailed out by rival chain Sports Direct, which bought a 4.7% stake for about £3.4 million. At the time JJB Sports chief executive Chris Ronnie declined to reveal how the money would be spent.

Market speculation suggested the cash would be used primarily for stock and basic financing needs. But Phil Swaine, associate director of retail operations, said JJB planned to put at least some element of its new shopfit into 70% of its 324 stores over the next three years.

Swaine added: “We’re being cautious and the refurbishment and openings will take a little longer than we might have been planning a few months ago. Trade is tough at the moment, as it is for most retailers, but we are confident that Christmas will come.”

JJB Sports added USA Pro, LA Gear, Karrimor, Kangol and No Fear, all brands which are owned by Sports Direct, to its stores in the past two weeks.

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