The World Cup has brought a much-needed sales uplift at sports specialist JJB Sports, which has also unveiled a new-model store in Slough that it hopes will aid its ongoing recovery.
Sales in the six weeks to July 4 rose 22.3% on a like-for-like basis and cumulative like-for-like sales since the start of its financial year on February 1, 2010, are ahead 12.1%.
The retailer reopened its Slough store in a trial format in May following a refurbishment and will roll out the design to four more stores in the autumn.
The new format incorporates changes to layout and navigation as well as point of sale improvements. JJB’s football department, its largest by sales, has been moved to the mezzanine floor to make it more of a “destination department”.
Katharine Wynne, UK retail analyst at Investec, visited the store and concluded that, although there were encouraging signs from the shop, the range still “remains way off mark”.
JJB Sports chiefs are continuing their attempts to improve the offer with, for instance, more exclusive offers developing JJB’s own brands.
In the Slough store, sales have increased 9% above the company average and sterling margin has improved 17% since the reopening.
Wynne said the store had shown improvement “before having carried out any local advertising, so [it] largely reflects increased conversion rates and basket size”.
She added: “Football department sales have held up, despite the move upstairs, while golf and footwear have been the main winners from the layout changes.”