JD to open stores in the U.S. before the holidays
British group, JD Sports, owner of JD, Size, Footpatrol, Chausport, Sprinter, and others, is ready to set foot in the American market this spring, with the acquisition of Finish Line’s local chain of stores.
The group, a very powerful force in Europe that has been virtually absent in America, will bring its flagship brand JD, along with its shoe and sportswear textile concept, to five converted Finish Line stores by the end of 2018.
Equally, Finish Line is one of the largest sporting good retailers across the Atlantic with 553 stores in 44 states. The finalisation of the company acquisition, which took place in June, "has considerably extended the global reach of the group," said Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports a few week ago, while sharing financial results.
“With a population of more than 300 million, the United States is the largest market for footwear and sportswear. The JD and Finish Line management teams are already working together on a project to test JD's proposal in the U.S.”
Those plans will materialize this year, as it prepares to establish three stores in the athleisure crazed cities of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, according to FashionNetwork sources. The group will then continue to test and position the brand by converting other Finish Line outlets in 2019. It expects to reach a network of 15 JD stores in the next six months, targeting cities with a strong streetwear culture like Indianapolis, Houston and Miami.
To grow its flagship brand, the English group is following a similar process in other markets. In fact, in France, JD will replace eight stores in the Chausport network - also owned by JD Sports - by the end of the year. This is a way to extend its footprint without having to look for new locations.
Taking full advantage of the sportswear craze and contributing to the new found hype around brands like Ellesse, Fila and Champion, the JD Sports group generated 1.846 billion pounds (or 2.07 billion euros) of business in the first six months of its 2018 fiscal year, up 35% from last year, with EBITDA up 26% to 171.8 million pounds (193 million euros).
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