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Lee in JJB lifestyle hotseat

JJB Sports will overhaul its Original Shoe Co and Qube fascias after appointing Microzine founder and sportswear guru Chris Lee as managing director of the group’s lifestyle division.

Lee will be in charge of about 100 Original Shoe Co and Qube stores and will lead a review of the chains’ brand portfolios, positioning and branding. He also plans to take the division to 150 shops in the next 12 months.

Lee, who has previously worked at DKNY, Reebok and former Liverpool indie Wade Smith, said: “This will allow me to implement on a much bigger scale all the knowledge and experience I’ve built up over 25 years.”

JJB bought Original Shoe Co from Sports Direct in December. It subsequently bought Qube from entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital private equity firm in May.

Lee said he would be visiting brands to pitch his vision for the chains. “Going forward [Original Shoe Co] will occupy the middle to upper end of the market with more own-label product.”

JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie said: “Chris Lee’s knowledge of brand development and retail expertise will allow him to build on the current portfolio and establish JJB Sports’ lifestyle arm as a main player.”

Lee will continue to run his Microzine store in Liverpool.

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