JD Sports

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JD Sports Fashion plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSEJD.
Founded1981; 37 years ago (1981) (Bury, Greater Manchester, UK)
Key people
Peter Cowgill (Executive Chairman)
Sportswear Accessories
Revenue£2,378.7 million (2017)[1]
£239.8 million (2017)[1]
£184.6 million (2017)[1]
OwnerPentland Group (58%)
Aberforth Partners (10%)
Fidelity Management (5%)
Peter Cowgill (CEO) (1%)
Other Minor Shareholders (20%)
A JD Sports store in Bull Ring, Birmingham, in 2010

JD Sports Fashion plc, more commonly known as just JD Sports,[2] is a sports-fashion retail company based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England with shops throughout the United Kingdom. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. It is a subsidiary of the Pentland Group.


The letters JD in JD Sports stand for the initials of the many founders of the company, John & David. In 1981, the company was established by John Wardle and David Makin, trading from a single shop in Bury.[3] In 1983, the company opened a store in the Arndale Centre in Manchester.[4] In 1989, the first store opened in Oxford Street, London. In October 1996, the company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange.[4]

In December 2001 it acquired nearly 200 further stores with the acquisition of First Sport from Blacks Leisure Group. In October 2005 it bought 70 stores from the administrators of Allsports, who entered administration in September 2005.[4] In May 2005, Pentland Group bought Wardle's and Makin's shares for £44.6M; the pair later resigned from the board.[5] In December 2007, the company bought out Bank Stores, which sold fashion clothing, such as Firetrap, Alu, Henleys & Adidas Originals for around £19M.[6]

JD Sports is the official supplier and sponsor of numerous association football teams, players and associations. In August 2008, JD Sports announced sponsorship deals with Bournemouth, Charlton Athletic, Dundee United, Blackpool, Luton Town & Oldham Athletic. In May 2009, JD Sports acquired Chausport, which operated 75 small stores in France. In addition, JD acquired the rugby heritage brands 'Canterbury' and 'Canterbury of New Zealand' as well as 'The Duffer of St. George' and 'Kooga Rugby' brands.[7]

In January 2011, JD Sports acquired Champion Sports for €19.6M, In January 2012, JD Sports purchased the troubled Blacks Leisure Group from administration for a total of £20 million.[8] In February 2012, JD Sports acquired streetwear clothing brand FLY53, for an undisclosed sum.[9] The same year JD Sports acquired a 40% stake in fashion retailer Tessuti, before acquiring the brand in full in 2016. In February 2013, it purchased Cloggs, a shoe retailer, out of administration however closed it in 2018.[10]

In 2016, JD Sports acquired Go Outdoors for £112 million.[11]

In 2017 the company saw 30 per cent rise in sales to £2.4bn and its 50 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £238m,[12][13] which has been credited partially to growing trends in athleisure.[13]

In 2018, JD Sports reached a deal to acquire Finish Line for $558 million.[14][15] This will expand the brand's presence into the US and Puerto Rico.


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). JD Sports. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  2. ^ "New distribution warehouse, Rochdale". LSLav.
  3. ^ Stevenson, Rachel (7 July 2004). "JD Sports founder sells 11per cent stake to firm behind Speedo". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  4. ^ a b c "History". JD Sports.
  5. ^ "JD Sports founders sell out for £44.6m". London: Times Online. 5 November 2007.
  6. ^ "John David Group makes a Bank statement". Yorkshire Post. 11 December 2007.
  7. ^ "History". jdplc.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  8. ^ Blacks Leisure sold for £20m while La Senza finds buyer BBC News, 9 January 2012
  9. ^ JD Sports acquires FLY53 Insider Media Limited, 15 February 2012
  10. ^ JD Sports Fashion acquires Cloggs Manchester Evening News, 15 February 2013
  11. ^ "Britain's JD Sports buys Go Outdoors for 112 million pounds". Reuters. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  12. ^ Burgess, Kate. "JD Sports hits its stride in fashionable shift to athleisure". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b Sullivan, Conor. "JD Sports profits propelled by fashion for sportswear". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  14. ^ Al-Muslim, Aisha (26 March 2018). "UK Retailer JD Sports Fashion to Buy Finish Line for About $558 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  15. ^ Costello, Miles (26 March 2018). "JD Sports hits the ground running with Finish Line takeover deal". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 27 March 2018.

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