The talk this week is all about UK sportswear giant, JD Sports, entering the Australian market.
The Weekend Australian has reported that the first store will open in Melbourne Central on 27 April, with five to six stores along the east coast to follow.
An Australian JD store has been expected since September last year when parent company JD Sports Fashion PLC revealed it had acquired an 80 per cent stake in Australian retailer Next Athleisure, which operates Glue Stores.
The man behind the development, Next Athleisure’s Hilton Seskin, told The Australian that JD Sports is a good fit with the existing Glue business.
“The reason why I targeted [the company] is that JD had transitioned their business into an amazing lifestyle business that was really sport-related—and there was a gap in this market for that,” he said.
Seskin has extensive experience in the industry. He was responsible for bringing Topshop and Topman into the Australian market and was also the founder of Rebel Sports.
JD, which calls itself the ‘undisputed king of trainers’, has been on expansion blitz recently, with executive chairman Peter Cowgill stating in September that the chain will “conquer the world”.
Along with the stake in Next Athleisure, the company bought a sports chain in the Netherlands in March 2016 and a 12-store business in Portugal in July. It also recently opened its largest store in Southeast Asia in Kuala Lumpur.
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