JD Sports sheds Blacks and Millets shops

James Thompson
Saturday 30 June 2012 13:52

JD Sports Fashion has shut about 100 Blacks and Millets outdoor leisure shops less than six months after buying Blacks Leisure out of administration for £20m.

The bigger chain, Millets, has borne the brunt of these closures and JD is thought to want to keep just the Blacks fascia on the high street in the long term.

JD is also understood to be considering a sale of a slimmed down version of Millets further down the line, once the performance of the chain, whose tents are popular among music festival revellers, has improved.

The acquisition of Blacks Leisure and its 290 shops in January has weighed heavily on JD's share price, though it did hit a 2012 high of 863p in mid-February.

Last month, the group forecast an operating loss of £10m at the Blacks business this financial year, as well as a possible further £5m charge for restructuring.

The Millets shop on London's Kensington High Street was one of the latest to shut. In a model that has been replicated in numerous locations with both stores, the Millets stock was moved into the Blacks store a few metres down the street.

Shares in JD closed at 715p on Friday, valuing the company at just shy of £350m.

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