JD Sports is to expand its performance sports fascia JD Pro by opening larger stores for the format as Matalan enters the market.
It is set to close its debut store on Bow Lane in the City of London, opened last November, in order to focus on “more sizeable” shops, according to JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill. The store is being marketed by property agent GCW.
JD is planning on adding four to five new stores to the trial, including one in Canary Wharf. Cowgill said it will also push JD Pros’s internet offer.
The retailer launched JD Pro last November to fill the gap created by JJB Sports’ demise. JD Pro targets the performance sportswear market and sells premium clothing, footwear and equipment.
JD Pro, which is a member of the Intersport buying group, was launched by former JJB Sports chief executive Tom Knight, who decamped to Matalan not long after the first store opened.
Knight is setting up a similar chain, Sporting Pro, also part of the Intersport group, with Matalan. He told Retail Week that he plans to open 100 stores for Sporting Pro, which launches next month.