JD Sports boss says retail CVAs will ‘accelerate’ post-coronavirus

Peter Cowgill

JD Sports executive chair Peter Cowgill has said the rate of retail pre-pack administrations and company voluntary arrangements (CVAS) will pick up in the wake of the pandemic.

The sports fashion retailer, which posted an uplift in full-year profits and strong sales in its full-year results, launched a controversial pre-pack administration for subsidiary Go Outdoors last month in a bid to secure more competitive rental prices across its 67-strong store estate.

Boss Cowgill told Retail Week that arrangements of this nature would become more commonplace as retailers grappled with footfall declines and unyielding landlords in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“All JD stores were successful to varying degrees before the pandemic, however I think there was already evidence of a movement towards online even before coronavirus. Our store estate can be retained but has to be repriced and that has to be recognised by bondholders and the financiers of shopping centres,” he said.

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