Analysis: How coronavirus has shifted JD Sports boss Cowgill’s priorities

JD Sports new store

JD Sports has made a name for itself as one of UK retail’s star performers. And despite the hammer blows coronavirus has delivered to swathes of the sector, the sports fashion giant has emerged bruised but still swinging.

Although the vast majority of its global store estate was closed for weeks during its first half, JD’s overall revenue declined just 6.5% to £2.5bn in the 26 weeks to August 1.

Profits, however, were harder hit, tumbling 61% to £61.9m before tax and exceptional items. The retailer attributed the slump to costs associated with ramping up and running its online operations to meet increased customer demand.

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