Global ambition

JD Sports chief plans hundreds of new stores

JD Sports in St James
JD Sports aims to become a global powerhouse

JD Sports plans to invest up to £3 billion opening up to 1,750 stores worldwide under plans that will be a vote of confidence in bricks and mortar retail estates.

The move, announced by new CEO Regis Schultz, said that he hopes the expansion will generate £1 billion of cash every year.

He told investors he wanted to turn the £8.8 billon company into a “global sports-fashion powerhouse”. His comments sent its shares up by nearly 10%.

He added: “We see significant growth opportunities ahead by expanding JD internationally, notably in North America and Europe.”

Some new stores will open in the UK, but the bulk of the investment will be aimed at he US and Europe over the next five years, he said. JD Sports owns the Tiso outdoor clothing and accessories brand which was launched in Edinburgh.

Mr Schultz is seeking “double digit revenue growth” and “double-digit operating margins” in a bid to double its share in key markets.

His strategy was unveiled after JD Sports predicted that annual profits would top £1bn for the first time for the year ending on 3 February 2024 thanks to strong demand for fashionable trainers and athleisure.

Mr Schultz succeeded Peter Cowgill, who built a multibillion pound business but was ousted last year over growing concerns about governance, oversight and succession planning at the company.

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