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31 Barry Bown ***New***

Chief executive, JD Sports Fashion

Barry Bown enters the Drapers Top 100 for the first time, replacing JD Sports Fashion’s previous representative in the rankings, chairman Peter Cowgill, thanks to the UK’s biggest branded fashion specialist’s increased focus on product.

Bown has overseen the relaunch of JD Sports Fashion’s biggest own label, McKenzie, as well as continuing to snap up distressed brands for use across its own store portfolio. These included the acquisition of Sonneti from brand house World Design & Trade and the rescue of footwear label Nanny State after the administration of its parent company DR Shoes.

The prospect of potential margin gains from these deals will make the City salivate but Bown has a big challenge to maintain like-for-like performance against such strong comparatives from the previous two years.

Other highlights include the relaunch of Foot Patrol, the UK’s leading sneaker store, which Bown bought the rights to in 2008. As an avid collector of vintage trainers, this was seen as a hobby project for Bown.


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