Matalan is to launch its new sports fascia next month as it unveils plans to open 14 stores by December.

The first Sporting Pro stores will open on September 6, and will be backed by an online offer,, which launches in mid September.

More store openings are expected throughout 2014.

Stores will be up to 15,000 sq ft and will feature a “strong women’s presence”. The retailer will sell footwear, apparel and equipment for sports including football, rugby, individual sports and racket sports.

Sports brands including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics, and Reebok will be stocked in the Sporting Pro stores.

Sporting Pro is a member of Intersport  - the global brand management and buying organisation that partners with 5,400 retailers in 42 countries.

Sporting Pro boss Tom Knight, a former JJB Sports chief executive, said: “More people participate in some form of sport than ever before; whether it’s to encourage a healthier lifestyle or playing at competition level. Sporting Pro will cater for all. All our staff will be fully trained and knowledgeable in their field to help and advise our customers on their sport requirements.”

The stores will have a strong focus on fitness and running and will feature additional services including gait analysis and custom fit insoles. There will also be nets in store for cricket, hockey and golf practice.