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Mainstream relaunch for Sonneti at JD Sports

JD Sports Fashion is to relaunch young fashion brand Sonneti as an own label comparable to its lower-priced McKenzie offer and chairman Peter Cowgill said it would consider a wholesale route for the brand at a later date.

The sportswear group bought the Sonneti name from brand house World Design & Trade (WDT) - which also owns Fullcircle and Firetrap - last month for an undisclosed sum.

Prior to the acquisition, WDT rebranded Sonneti as SC51 for spring 10 and gave it a younger, more premium and preppy overhaul in keeping with the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch, Jack Wills and Hollister. The move took retail prices up to £55 for jeans and £35 for shirts.

However, Cowgill said JD Sports Fashion would relaunch Sonneti as a lower-priced, more mainstream menswear offer, in line with McKenzie.

McKenzie, which targets 15 to 35-year-old men, retails at about £14.99 for T-shirts and up to £39.99 for a jacket. Prices for Sonneti are yet to be confirmed. Cowgill said JD Sports Fashion was yet to decide in which of its 523 stores, which include young fashion fascias Bank and Scotts, Sonneti would be sold.

“Initially we will sell it just within our own group then consider wholesaling it, particularly abroad,” he said.

International is a growing part of JD Sports Fashion’s business and last week it unveiled plans to open two stores in Paris under the JD fascia. Last year, it acquired French sports footwear retailer Chausport.

In the 18 weeks to June 5, like-for-like retail sales at JD Sports Fashion rose 4.1%. During the period, the group’s Bank chain moved into positive like-for-like territory, posting comparable sales growth of 0.3%, while Scotts showed a narrowing decline of 4.4%.

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