JD Sports drives record profit growth by investing in internalisation and multi-channel retail, says GlobalData

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Following today’s release of JD Sports FY figures for 2018/19, James Yacoub, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: ‘‘FY2018/19 has proved to be another year of explosive growth for JD Sports with revenue reaching £4.7bn driving a 26.8% increase to reach record EBITDA, driven by the retailer’s commitment to evolve as retail enters in to a new epoch of digitalisation and innovation. As many of its competitors have been sluggish to embrace the ever-changing retail landscape, JD Sports has accelerated its development by prioritising internationalisation, investing in its online channels and striving towards a streamlined retail model. While close competitor Sports Direct’s leader Mike Ashley has been distracted expanding his portfolio of retail businesses, JD Sports has continued to gain share extending its position as market leader in the UK footwear sector. 

“By continuing to focus on its multi-brand and multi-channel proposition JD Sports has managed to create fluidity between its online and offline proposition achieving strong online penetration. The sportswear retailer has effectively captured its target market by implementing the latest technology, maintaining relationships with key international brands, remaining prominent on social media and ensuring the backing of influential celebrities to showcase its latest trends to appeal to its trend conscious customer base. Alongside this, JD Sports has introduced innovative concepts such as Klarna, the buy now pay later payment option, as well as JDX, the attractive delivery saver scheme, to entice repeat purchases and meet the high expectations of its young target customer base.

“Internationalism has been orchestrated through its acquisition strategy – by acquiring Finish Line in March 2018, JD Sports has shrewdly entered a well-established and appealing market whilst diversifying its group risk from potential ongoing uncertainty around Brexit. The group has also driven further international expansion in the APAC region as Chinese millennials fuel a growth trajectory in the sportswear market. JD Sports has had an eventful 2019 in its domestic acquisitions, acquiring its rival Footasylum and rescuing Pretty Green from administration in April. Despite differences in the brands, if the retailer can successfully integrate Pretty Green into its stores and online channel, it could be a stepping stone for JD Sports to move from a sports and athleisure specialist to a lifestyle clothing & footwear player.”