Following today’s release of JD Sports H1 figures for 2018/19,
Amy Higginbotham, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:
‘‘Although international markets bolstered JD Sports’ performance in H1 2018/19 boosting total revenue to £1,846.3m, its resilient UK business delivered strong growth with sales rising 6.1%, accounting for 51.9% of group revenue. JD Sports has demonstrated that there is hope for UK physical retail with continued robust growth and positive profits – group operating profit rose 19.9% to £123.9m with the sports fashion division being its primary driver. This confirms JD Sports’ position as a leader in the UK footwear market as it continues to put pressure on rivals Sports Direct and Footasylum.
JD Sports has made significant progress with its strategy to expand further into Europe and beyond, given the increasingly limited opportunities for growth in the UK, opening 18 new JD Sports stores across Europe and 21 in the Asia Pacific region, including its first stores in Singapore. After entering the competitive US sportswear market earlier on this year, the reported increase in group operating profit of £20.6m in the period includes a contribution of £4.8m from The Finish Line, demonstrating the new addition’s immediate impact on the business. With trials of JD Sports stores planned to launch in the US imminently, the new acquisition presents further growth opportunities for the group to expand internationally.
JD Sports’ success can also be attributed to the ongoing athleisure boom as well as its “multichannel multibrand premium offer” which includes product exclusives from brands such as Nike and Adidas. This, as well as its ability to remain relevant and engage with customers through the sponsorship of athletes like Anthony Joshua, sets it apart from emerging online competitors such as Gymshark, ASOS and boohoo.com. In addition, continued investment in its physical stores makes JD Sports more resilient to the challenges threatening the UK high street and having a significant impact on competitors like Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.”
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