JD Sports in massive Spain and Portugal deal, Australia expansion
UK sports fashion, outdoor and casualwear retail giant JD Sports has its sights set on fast international growth with news of its Australian debut and a major deal in Spain and Portugal that will potentially see it merging with Sport Zone in those countries.
The company said it has agreed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Portugal-based Sonae that should see a combination of JD's existing businesses in Spain and Portugal (JD Sprinter Holdings) with Sonae’s Sport Zone business, one of the largest sports retailers in the region.
The deal would create the Iberian Sports Retail Group that would be owned by 50% by the UK firm, 30% by Sonae and 20% by the family shareholders of JD Sprinter.
The company said: “Sonae and JD Sprinter have a deep knowledge of sports retail in Portugal and Spain and both will play a key role in the future strategic and operational management of the Iberian Group.”
So what does that mean for the local retail sector? Quiet a lot. With an estimated combined turnover over €450 million and a store network of 287 stores (191 of which are in Spain and 96 are in Portugal), the Iberian Group will instantly become the second largest regional sports retailer and “will generate further scale, momentum and resources to continue the current growth of the JD Group,” JD said.
Not content with instant growth in Spain and Portugal, JD is also to launch officially into Australia next month with a 540 sqm store at Melbourne Central. It is also launching Australian e-commerce at the same time.
The company has been growing fast but with Australia only its 11th country outside of the UK, it still has major potential globally.
In Australia, it will continue the kind of offer it has elsewhere with a big focus on first picks of limited-edition styles, global launches and exclusives from major names such as Adidas and Nike.
While this will be the first JD-branded store, the company already has a presence in the country having last year acquired 80% of Next Athleisure of $6.6m, which operates the 32-store chain Glue Store.
And it is planning a rollout of the JD banner in the country this year with stores planed in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
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