JD Sports

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JD Sports Fashion plc
TypePublic limited company
Founded1981; 40 years ago (1981)
HeadquartersBury, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Key people
Peter Cowgill (Executive Chair)
Sportswear Accessories
RevenueIncrease £6,110.8 million (2020)[1]
Increase £516.9 million (2020)[1]
Decrease £250.7 million (2020)[1]
OwnerPentland Group (55%)
Aberforth Partners (10%)
Fidelity Management (5%)
Peter Cowgill (CEO) (1%)
Other Minor Shareholders (29%)
Number of employees
34,885 (2020)[1]
  • Aktiesport
  • Blacks
  • Bodytone
  • Chausport
  • Exercise4Less
  • Finish Line, Inc.
  • Fishing Republic
  • Footasylum
  • Footpatrol
  • GO Outdoors
  • JD Gyms
  • JD Sports
  • Mainline
  • Millets
  • Nice Kicks
  • Perry Sport
  • Scotts
  • Size?
  • Sportzone
  • Sprinter
  • Tessuti
  • Tiso
  • Ultimate Outdoors

JD Sports Fashion plc, more commonly known as JD Sports or JD,[2] is a British sports-fashion retail company based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England with shops throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Pentland Group is the majority owner.


The letters JD in JD Sports stand for the initials of the 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, Greater Manchester.[3] In 1983, the company opened a store in the Arndale Centre in Manchester.[4]

In December 2001 it acquired 209 further stores with the acquisition of First Sport from Blacks Leisure Group.[5]

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.[6] In December 2007, the company bought out Bank Stores, which sold fashion clothing, such as Firetrap, Alu, Henleys & Adidas Originals for around £19M.[7]

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 AFC 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.[4]

In January 2011, JD Sports acquired Champion Sports for €19.6M.[8] In January 2012, JD Sports purchased the troubled Blacks Leisure Group from administration for a total of £20 million.[9] In February 2012, JD Sports acquired streetwear clothing brand FLY53, for an undisclosed sum.[10] The same year JD Sports acquired a 40% stake in fashion retailer Tessuti, before acquiring the brand in full in 2016.[11] In February 2013, it purchased Cloggs, a shoe retailer, out of administration however closed it in 2018.[12]

In January 2016, JD Sports opened its first store in Malaysia.[13]

The JD group also acquired the Clothingsites.co.uk group in September 2016.[14] The group operates 2 websites, Woodhouse Clothing[15] and Brown Bag Clothing.[16]

A JD Sports store in Westfield Carousel, Perth

In November 2016, JD Sports acquired GO Outdoors for £112 million.[17] In late 2016, JD Sports Fashion acquired an 80% stake in the Australian retailer Next Athleisure for A$6.6 million.[18] The first Australian JD Sports store opened in Melbourne in April 2017.[19]

In 2017 the company saw 30 per cent rise in sales[20][21] which was credited partially to growing trends in athleisure.[21]

In March 2018, JD Sports reached a deal to acquire Finish Line for $558 million.[22][23]

In 2018, JD Sports continued its expansion in the Asia Pacific region. It opened its first store in South Korea on 13 April 2018,[24] It started expanding in other major Indian cities as well. next month. its first Singapore store on 24 May 2018[25] and its first store in Thailand on 9 November 2018.[26]

In 2016 and again in 2019, JD Sports was the subject of accusations of mistreatment of its UK warehouse staff, with comparisons being made to Victorian "dark satanic mills" and "prison" conditions.[27][28][29]

In 2020, JD Sports appointed administrators for its Go Outdoors brand, placing additional high street workers at risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic.[30] It then re-acquired the business from the administrators.[31]

In December 2020, JD Sports announced it had bought Shoe Palace for $325 million, boosting the company's shares 5% higher.[32] JD Sports had also acquired Shoe Palace's holdings in Nice Kicks, a website for sneakers.[33]

In 2021, JD Sports announced its joint venture partnership in Indonesia and will opening its first store in 2022.[34]

As of September 2021, JD Sports along with Leicester City were under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to alleged breaches in competition law. The investigation was in regards to anti-competitive agreements over the sale of club branded merchandise in the UK. Both JD Sports and Leicester City said they were 'fully cooperating' with the CMA.[35][36][37][38]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). JD Sports. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ "New distribution warehouse, Rochdale". Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  3. ^ Stevenson, Rachel (7 July 2004). "JD Sports founder sells 11per cent stake to firm behind Speedo". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "History". jdplc.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  5. ^ Beech, John; Chadwick, Simon (2006). The Marketing of Sport. Financial Times International. p. 375. ISBN 978-0273688266.
  6. ^ "JD Sports founders sell out for £44.6m". London: Times Online. 5 November 2007.
  7. ^ "John David Group makes a Bank statement". Yorkshire Post. 11 December 2007.
  8. ^ "JD Sports set to acquire Champion Sports for €20m". Irish Examiner. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Blacks Leisure sold for £20m while La Senza finds buyer". BBC News. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  10. ^ "JD Sports acquires FLY53". Insider Media Limited. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  11. ^ "JD's Tessuti deal spells the end for Cecil Gee". Drapers on line. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  12. ^ "JD Sports Fashion acquires Cloggs". Manchester Evening News. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  13. ^ Su, Reon (28 January 2016). "JD Sports Fashion opens its first Malaysian outlet". MAXIT. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Final Results â€" Company Announcement". Markets.ft.com. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Men's Designer Clothes, Shoes & Accessories | Woodhouse". Woodhouseclothing.com. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Brown Bag Clothing | Men's Cheap Designer Clothing". Bbclothing.co.uk. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  17. ^ "Britain's JD Sports buys Go Outdoors for 112 million pounds". Reuters. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  18. ^ Dagge, John (6 July 2018). "'King of trainers' JD Sports eye Perth market". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  19. ^ Powell, Dominic (26 April 2017). "JD Sports looks to unlock "athleisure" niche with Aussie store launch tomorrow". SmartCompany. Archived from the original on 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  20. ^ Burgess, Kate. "JD Sports hits its stride in fashionable shift to athleisure". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  21. ^ a b Sullivan, Conor. "JD Sports profits propelled by fashion for sportswear". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Costello, Miles (26 March 2018). "JD Sports hits the ground running with Finish Line takeover deal". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  24. ^ "JD Sports to open first store in South Korea".
  25. ^ Tan, Dylan (30 May 2018). "Sneakerheads rejoice, Singapore will have not one but two JD outlets with the first already opened in Jurong". Business Insider Singapore. Archived from the original on 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  26. ^ "JD Sports to open first store in Thailand at Iconsiam". The Nation. 17 October 2018. Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  27. ^ "'Prison' conditions at JD Sports: undercover investigation". Channel 4 News. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  28. ^ "JD Sports and Asos warehouses like 'dark satanic mills'". BBC. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  29. ^ "JD Sports and Asos warehouses compared to 'dark satanic mills' amid concerns over working conditions". The Independent. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  30. ^ "JD Sports' Go Outdoors brand likely to enter administration in days". The Guardian. 21 June 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  31. ^ "JD Sports buys back Go Outdoors after pushing it into administration". Sky News. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  32. ^ Reuters Staff (15 December 2020). "JD Sports buys Shoe Palace for $325 million to expand U.S. footprint". Reuters. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  33. ^ Martinez, Isa (15 December 2020). "Corporate Credit Risk Trends in Developing Markets An Expected Credit Loss ECL Perspective". S&P Global. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Erajaya Active Lifestyle Announces A Joint Venture with JD Sports Fashion plc". Erajaya Active Lifestyle Announces A Joint Venture with JD Sports Fashion plc. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  35. ^ "Suspected anti-competitive behaviour in relation to the sale of Leicester City FC-branded products and merchandise". Competition and Markets Authority. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Leicester City and JD Sports merchandise probe". BBC. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  37. ^ Saker-Clarke, Henry (30 September 2021). "Watchdog launches probe into Leicester City and JD Sports over merchandise". Independent. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  38. ^ Hardy, Matt (30 September 2021). "Leicester City and JD Sports probed by watchdog over merchandise". City AM. Retrieved 1 October 2021.

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