JD Sports hires adviser to seek sites for at least 100 stores across France

Sportswear and fashion retailer JD Sports is planning an aggressive expansion into France, which could lead to a chain of at least 100 shops.

In 2009, JD bought French sportswear brand Chausport, which has 75 stores throughout France. After dipping its toe in the water with three trial stores for JD Sports, it has now hired a property adviser to look for more sites for the chain.

Nigel Keen, the group property director at JD, said: "We are targeting the main urban areas across France to build on the successful opening of three trial stores in Lille, Paris and Lyons." Cushman & Wakefield has been hired to find high street and shopping centre locations. It is searching for property between 400sq m and 1,000sq m. JD trades from some 500 shops. It owns fashion chains Bank Fashion and Scotts and brands including The Duffer of St George, Canterbury and KooGa Rugby.

The company is listed but is 57 per cent owned by Pentland Group. Pentland owns a number of sports-related businesses including the Lacoste and Speedo brands.