Bad June and July for sports and fashion chains
John David Group has announced significantly reduced sales growth as it prepares to address shareholders at its AGM. The retailer blamed a general weakness in the high street and poor comparisons to last year when it benefited from the Euro 2004 football championship.

In May, the group reported like-for-like sales growth of 2.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to April 30, but this has now converted to a like-for-like fall of 0.1 per cent in the 24 weeks to July 16.

The retailer said: 'The rationalisation of stocks and brands relating to the original JD fashion chain and the recently acquired Scotts business has been largely completed, with a resultant improvement in the overall stock position. However, this exercise has adversely limited sales in the short term. We expect that the coordinated approach to the autumn ranges currently being delivered will produce a more positive performance.'

The board remains confident that it will meet market expectations by the end of the year.

The retailer said its board will remain unchanged following Pentland's acquisition of a 75 per cent shareholding in the company. However, Pentland may appoint a representative to the board in due course.