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Own-label push for JJB Sports

JJB Sports has appointed former JD Sports design head Darran Medley as head of product development as part of a bid to double own-brand sales.

Medley, who left JD Sports in 2004 after helping to establish own brands including McKenzie, will head up a team of 23 designers, expanded from just two a year ago.
JJB Sports has said it wants to increase the number of own-brand items, which make up 20% of its offer, to 45% by the end of the 2009 financial year.

The retailer sells own brands including Champion and Slazenger. In 2009 it will introduce Travel Fox, which it bought this year, and USA Pro, which it licenses from brand owner and rival retailer Sports Direct.

The company reported an adjusted pre-tax loss of £9.7 million for the 26 weeks to July 27 as sales fell 5.6% to £344.7m. Retail revenues were down from £332m last year to £309m this year. JJB Sports closed 96 stores and like-for-like sales fell 4.5%.

JJB Sports denied that it breached banking covenants in relation to a £15m banking facility with Bank of Scotland.

The retailer also said that Barclays Bank had accepted that in their view there was no breach of covenant with regard to their £60m banking facility.
It added that it had negotiated new terms for its loan with the Bank of Scotland.

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