A focus on younger consumers has helped JD Sports to buck the retail gloom and report record results. The sportswear retailer said pre-tax profits rose 15.4% to £339.9m in the year to 2 February, with revenues jumping 49.2% to £4.7bn.
In Europe, it had a net increase of 39 stores. It opened 34 in the Asia-Pacific region and its first five in the US, including the conversion of four existing Finish Line stores after taking over the business last summer.
In the past few weeks, JD has rescued Liam Gallagher’s fashion brand Pretty Green from administration and made a £90.1m offer to buy clothing and shoe retailer Footasylum.
Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said: “These results show that standing out in a crowded market with exclusive products, a unique proposition and placing the experiences at the heart of the store is a winning formula in today’s digital age.”
He added: “Despite the challenging conditions on the High Street, retailers who continue to thrive are those that have embraced change, invested in digital and listened to their customers to keep products fresh and desirable.”
Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said that JD was making the most of “the current trainer trend among millennials”.
She added: “JD Sports must stay on the front foot and continue to offer a unique customer experience with competitive pricing in order to keep momentum and drive footfall into stores. Other retailers should take note and follow its lead or risk getting caught in the current and dragged under.”