JD Sports aims to conquer U.S. market with fashion-focused sportswear

JD Sports aims to conquer U.S. market with fashion-focused sportswear

JD Sports, a British retailer that sells sneakers and sportswear as youth fashion, is betting on its unique approach to win over the U.S. market, where demand for such products has been declining. The company, which calls itself the “Undisputed King of Trainers”, has acquired three U.S. retailers in recent years and plans to open hundreds of new stores by 2028.

A JD Sports store in Manhattan. The retailer believes the U.S. market is ripe for a shake-up. PHOTO: CAM POLLACK/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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JD Sports has been successful in attracting younger consumers in Britain with its exclusive deals with major sports brands like Nike and Adidas, as well as its own labels and other fashion brands. The company says it differentiates itself from its competitors by offering a more contemporary, streetwise, and cool vibe in its stores, where sneakers and apparel are displayed in a fashion context rather than a sports context.

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The company’s sales have grown rapidly in the past five years, reaching £10.1 billion, equivalent to $12.8 billion, in 2022. The company expects to report an 8% increase in sales for the financial year ended Feb. 3. This contrasts with the sluggish performance of its chief U.S. rivals, such as Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, which have been struggling with weak consumer spending and changing preferences.

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JD Sports believes that the U.S. market offers a huge opportunity for growth, as it is the largest and most influential market for sneakers and sportswear. The company says that the U.S. consumers are looking for something new and fresh, and that JD Sports can fill that gap with its fashion-first approach.
The company has acquired Finish Line, Shoe Palace, and DTLR in the U.S. since 2018, and now operates about 900 stores across the country. It aims to have more than 1,300 stores by 2028, and to increase its online presence and brand awareness. The company says it will leverage its relationships with the sports brands to secure exclusive products and early releases for the U.S. market, as well as to introduce its own brands and other fashion labels.
The company also says it will adapt to the local tastes and preferences of the U.S. consumers, and that it will not impose a one-size-fits-all strategy. The company says it will respect the identities and cultures of the acquired retailers, and that it will learn from their expertise and experience in the U.S. market.
JD Sports says it is confident that it can succeed in the U.S. market, and that it is committed to delivering long-term growth and value for its shareholders, customers, and employees. The company says it will also continue to invest in innovation and digital transformation in the financial sector, and to promote financial inclusion and literacy.

Source : The Wall Street Journal

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