JD Sports to launch menswear chain as it takes on Topman

Chain in talks to open new outlets in Norwich, Bristol, Gateshead and Merry Hill near Birmingham by the end of the year

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The Independent Online

Sports and fashion chain JD Sports has kicked off a roll out of a new menswear chain this month to rival Topman and Blue Inc.

JD, known for its trainer shops, has launched a new menswear chain called Open and will unveil 10 stores by Christmas.

It has just opened in Stevenage, Hanley and Leeds and is due to open in Bury, Northampton, Leicester, Manchester and Glasgow this month. It is also in talks to open in Norwich, Bristol, Gateshead and Merry Hill near Birmingham by the end of the year.

JD, which rescued Millets and Blacks two years ago and owns fashion retailers Bank and Scotts, has decided to compete at the cheaper end of the fashion market and sees a gap for a male-focused chain aimed at 20-30 year old men.

Mark Disney, a retail property expert at CBRE said: “The menswear market has had a tough time with many casualties and much consolidation, but recent trading reports would suggest that the sector is picking up. It is refreshing to see a new entrant in the market and hopefully success of the pilot stores will lead to a larger roll out next year.”

FTSE-250 listed JD, which earlier this year revealed Bank and Scotts were not performing as well as hoped, will release its half year results on Wednesday.

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