John David Group chairman Peter Cowgill has blasted landlords for failing to support growth of the group’s newly acquired Bank chain.
The group reported another like-for-like sales increase for the seven weeks to May 31, with growth in both its sportswear chain JD Sports and its Scotts young fashion operation.
However, Cowgill said that despite being very pleased with the development of the Bank business, which it added to its portfolio in December, there were a few “problem stores” with problematic leases.
He said: “I wish landlords would appreciate how much it costs to operate a business on the high street at the moment. They should understand that if we could get some better terms then we’d be in a better position to go out and get some new stores.”
Bank has about 50 stores, selling brands including Firetrap, Gio-Goi and Henleys, and will be run as a separate chain to the Scotts business, which is targeted more towards men.
John David Group achieved 4.2% growth in like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to April 12, with the biggest growth coming from its fashion division which was up 4.9%. The JD Sports stores saw like-for-like sales rise by 4%.
Last week’s statement said performance in the seven weeks to May 31 at both divisions was marginally up on these figures.
Cowgill said a focus on exclusives and SMUs with key brands, plus improved storefits and good own-label business, had helped boost performance. John David Group acquired men’s clothing and footwear brand Nicholas Deakins last month.