JD Sports’ newly acquired Blacks business may not need its own chief executive analysts said, as incumbent Julia Reynolds resigned after less than a year at the helm.
Reynolds, who joined Blacks in August last year prior to JD buying it out of administration in January, is poised to stand down in September, it is understood.
Analysts have raised doubts over whether Blacks needs a similar level replacement now it is in the JD group.
Verdict practice leader Maureen Hinton said: “There are quite a lot of synergies between the businesses now, it probably needs more of a managing director of the division.”
Oriel Securities analyst Jonathan Pritchard agreed that the running of the fascia could be done by a divisional head.
However, Conlumino managing director Neil Saunders believes Blacks needs a standalone boss.
He said: “Blacks has a different role on the high street and different customers. Although there’s an opportunity for some integration, Blacks needs breathing space to keep it distinct from JD.”
Reynolds, who was previously chief executive of etailer Figleaves, is understood to be leaving without a role to go to.
She is thought to be departing Blacks because her role has changed since the retailer was bought by JD.
Hinton said: “It wasn’t the role she joined Blacks for. It has different owners and a different strategy, which is perhaps limiting what she would like to do.”
Blacks, advised by property agent Jones Lang LaSalle, has closed more than 80 stores since it was snapped up by JD. The sportswear giant has started a rebrand of Blacks and stablemate Millets, including a product overhaul, localised offer and store refits.
In the year to January 28, JD’s profits were hit after it incurred a £2.2m loss from its Blacks acquisition.
Reynolds and JD declined to comment.