A trial store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre has delivered double-digit sales growth and the refit will be adopted in another 40 shops this financial year.
The new-look stores, combined with a bolstered own-brand offer and better service in stores – all part of a drive to position JJB as “serious about sport” – form a central plank in JJB’s recovery programme.
JJB today posted full-year pre-tax profits down almost 72 per cent to£10.8 million on sales up 0.2 per cent to£811.8 million.
The retail division – JJB also runs fitness clubs – reported operating profit down from£60.3 million to£49.4 million on sales down£9 million to£745.5 million. Like-for-likes fell 0.5 per cent.
JJB chairman Roger Lane-Smith was bullish about prospects and said: “We believe the action we are taking represents a turning point for the company, which will benefit performance over the medium term.”
He added: “While we have identified a number of stores for closure, which will itself strengthen our remaining store portfolio, we are investing to improve the quality of our stores and product with refits, the introduction of new products from our own brands and the implementation of staff training and incentivisation programmes.”
In the seven weeks to March 16, JJB’s group like-for-likes fell 3 per cent.
Separately, veteran JJB finance director David Greenwood will retire at the end of this month, but stay on as company secretary until July 27. He will be succeeded by commercial director David Madeley.