JD Sports group buys troubled rival

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The Independent Online

The owner of JD Sports today bought troubled rival Allsports for £18 million.

Allsports went into administration last month with the loss of more than 1,300 jobs after a significant decline in sales and a price war among sportswear retailers.

Since then administrators have closed 92 under-performing stores and John David Group today said it had acquired the rest of the company.

Allsports was the fourth largest sports retailer in the UK with 270 stores before it went into administration.

Administrator BDO Stoy Hayward closed 92 stores earlier this month and made 1,173 shop staff redundant. A further 147 staff were made redundant at the head office and central warehouses in Bredbury, near Stockport in Greater Manchester.

JD today bought the remaining 177 stores, which will continue to trade under the Allsports brand alongside its own JD Sports outlets.

It also took on Allsports' debt, which is believed to be around £18 million.

Despite the tough trading conditions which saw Allsports go into administration, JD revealed an upturn in profits for the first half of the year from £1.8 million to £2.8 million.

But earlier this month the company warned trading had been disappointing since July 30 due to increased competition and the London bombings, and added that the Christmas period would be crucial.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: "We believe that, since the disposal of the under-performing stores, the remaining Allsports stores offer an exciting opportunity to expand the offering of JD to our customers."

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