Open main menu

JD Sports Fashion plc, more commonly known as just JD Sports,[2] is a sports-fashion retail company based in Bury, Lancashire, England with shops throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It is a subsidiary of the Pentland Group.

JD Sports Fashion plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSEJD.
Founded1981; 38 years ago (1981) (Bury, Lancashire, UK)
Key people
Peter Cowgill (Executive Chairman)
Sportswear Accessories
Revenue£4,717.8 million (2019)
£361.5 million (2019)
£339.9 million (2019)
OwnerPentland Group (58%)
Aberforth Partners (10%)
Fidelity Management (5%)
Peter Cowgill (CEO) (1%)
Other Minor Shareholders (20%)
Number of employees
32,125 (2018)[1]


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.[3] In 1983, the company opened a store in the Arndale Centre in Manchester.[4] In 1989, the first London store opened on 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 January 2016, JD Sports opened its first store in Malaysia.[11]

A JD Sports store in Westfield Carousel, Perth

In November 2016, JD Sports acquired GO Outdoors for £112 million.[12] In late 2016, JD Sports Fashion acquired an 80% stake in the Australian retailer Next Athleisure for A$6.6 million.[13] The first Australian JD Sports store opened in Melbourne in April 2017.[14]

In 2017 the company saw 30 per cent rise in sales[15][16] which was credited partially to growing trends in athleisure.[16]

In March 2018, JD Sports reached a deal to acquire Finish Line for $558 million.[17][18]

In 2018, JD Sports continued its expansion in the Asia Pacific region. It opened its first store in South Korea on 13 April 2018,[19] its first Singapore store on 24 May 2018[20] and its first store in Thailand on 9 November 2018.[21]

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.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ "JD Sports". City Wire. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  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". Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. 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. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Britain's JD Sports buys Go Outdoors for 112 million pounds". Reuters. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Burgess, Kate. "JD Sports hits its stride in fashionable shift to athleisure". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b Sullivan, Conor. "JD Sports profits propelled by fashion for sportswear". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 최수향 (26 March 2018). "JD Sports to open first store in S. Korea next month". Yonhap News Agency. Archived from the original on 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "'Prison' conditions at JD Sports: undercover investigation". Channel 4 News. 14 December 2016.
  23. ^ "JD Sports and Asos warehouses like 'dark satanic mills'". BBC. 7 May 2019.
  24. ^ "JD Sports and Asos warehouses compared to 'dark satanic mills' amid concerns over working conditions". The Independent. 9 May 2019.

External linksEdit