JD Sports boss Peter Cowgill is bullish about the business’ stance as an “iconic retailer” in overseas markets as it eyes new overseas territories.
The sports fashion retailer, which posted a 33% spike in interim pre-tax profits to £102.7m, opened a net 23 new stores across mainland Europe during the period.
The retailer, which recorded a 44% jump in revenue year-on-year, plans to open approximately a store a week on the continent for the remainder of the financial year and plans to expand the number of territories where it has a bricks-and-mortar presence over the next 12 months.
Cowgill told Retail Week: “JD Sports is perceived internationally as the iconic retailer in this sector of the market. It sounds arrogant but the reason I know that is by the number of partners that wish to engage with us in every corner of the world, we just can’t accommodate it.
“The proposition that we take internationally is new, it’s exciting, it’s got great consumer experience and as a consequence the brands very much want to engage because we treat them well and fairly and genuinely see them as partners for mutual development.”
The athleisure retailer posted 3% and 7% rises in like-for-likes sales across the UK and Ireland and mainland Europe respectively, which Cowgill attributed to the retailer’s “second to none” relationships with global brands.
“We’ve got common objectives in terms of wanting brands to retain brand equity and provide an exciting but safe home for [them],” said Cowgill.
“As a result we’re the first choice destination for branded outwear across mens, womens and kids categories.”
The retailer, which caused shareholder jitters when it released a trading statement in June warning of margin pressure, has said that its full-year profits are expected to at the upper end of market expectations.
“The truth of it is we badly worded that announcement in the quest of being probably excessively transparent in the middle of a period that was extremely difficult to monitor,” said Cowgill.
“At the time of that announcement we were up against the Euros in terms of comparatives and in the middle of Eid – but if we were to do that again it would be along the lines of saying our forecasts are in line with expectations.”