Sports retailers dominated headlines today as JD Sports ramped up its international expansion plans and Sports Direct ruffled feathers… again.

Given the political context, JD Sports’ decision to launch operations in South Korea has raised a few eyebrows.

However, the retailer – having penned a joint venture with Hot-T owner Shoemarker Inc – is confident its new market will bear fruit. It said the deal is worth around £5.5m.

Also today, Sports Direct is in trouble again after being accused of underpaying its couriers.

The Mike Ashley-owned business has been challenged by MPs over the “deeply troubling” allegations brought to light by a whistle-blower, who said the retailer “almost always sends parcels through as packets” to save money.

Quote of the day

“The impact of Brexit is clear […] Not only has the trend turned negative with more closures than openings but the volume of activity has also dropped by 25%.

“Stores continue to perform a vital role in the purchase cycle and consumer journey but the key questions remain around how many shops you need, what kind of format and in which locations.

“With rising costs everywhere for retailers, margins are being squeezed and therefore understanding these micro to macro location trends is fundamental for retailer success.”

– Local Data Company (LDC) director Matthew Hopkinson

Today in numbers

The number of major appointments made this week by fashion retailer Missguided

The year-on-year percentage by which store openings nosedived in the last quarter, according to figures from the LDC

Tomorrow’s agenda

Happy weekend trading, retailers.

Emily Hardy, senior reporter