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8. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, JD Sports Fashion

Peter Cowgill

Position last year: 10

JD Sports Fashion had another bumper year in 2015 posting record profits for the first six months of the year.

Under Cowgill’s continued stewardship, the retailer’s profit before tax and exceptional items soared by a record 82% to £46.6m in the 26 weeks to August 1.Total sales grew 21% to £809.9m and like-for-like sales across the group increased by more than 10%.

Store openings were top of the agenda for Cowgill this year with Size taking the innovative step of opening its first women’s-only outlet in Manchester in August and large format JD shops launched in Glasgow, Newcastle and Amsterdam in the second half of the year. He has also pushed the group’s continued international rollout, with 27 stores opening across Europe. However the icing on the cake for Cowgill was the opening of JD’s mega store on the eastern side of Oxford Street in July. The retail boss said the 34,500 sq ft flagship was a “representation of everything the business stands for” and the format will be rolled out to every major city in Europe.

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