JD Sports set for big outdoor loss

Retailer JD Sports Fashion has warned its Blacks and Millets outdoor division is set for another "substantial" loss, despite a return to sales growth.

The division, which made a loss of £14.9 million in its last financial year to February, had to sacrifice margins in order to achieve the positive like-for-like sales figure, with the return to profitability still a "work in progress".

JD said: "We expect the outdoor fascias to make a substantial but significantly reduced loss in the current year with the biggest improvement coming in the second half."

The Bury-based company has already admitted that the challenge of reviving the Blacks business, which it bought out of administration for £20 million in January 2012, has been tougher than expected.
It has closed more than 120 stores in the last year as it looks to eliminate a high rent bill by targeting an estate of around 140 outlets.

The company also recently announced a reprieve for the Millets name, which it now views as a good outlet for its own brands Peter Storm and Eurohike.

JD said trading in its main business of sports fashion retailing remained robust, with like-for-like sales up 7% in the 18 weeks to June 8. However, its fashion fascias of Bank and Scotts saw a decline of 5% over the same period.

High Street casualties

High Street casualties