High Street

Sports Direct announces five more Jack Wills closures

Sports Direct has revealed the locations of a further five Jack Wills stores set to close, following its acquisition of the clothing retailer.

Sports Direct has earmarked its Bluewater, Oxford, Newcastle, Winchester and London Gatwick airport as the next stores to shutter. The company, which closed eight Jack Wills stores last month after failing to find rent agreements with landlords, is being advised by CBRE in regards to the store portfolio.

A Sports Direct spokesman said: “We are continuing to work hard with our landlords to try to keep as many stores in the existing portfolio open. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to save these five stores.

“Where possible, Sports Direct is committed to finding new roles within the group for all affected Jack Wills staff.”

Sports Direct acquired Jack Wills from administration on 6 August, after administrators KPMG accepted the £12.75m offer tabled by the sports retail group. Jack Wills currently has 100 stores in the UK, employing around 1,800 people, with all properties and distribution centres were transferred to Sports Direct after completion.

The fashion brand has experienced a difficult year, after reporting losses of £7.5m for the year to 28 January 2018.

Suzanne Harlow, chief executive of Jack Wills, said at the time: “For the past year, we have been focussed on improving the Jack Wills proposition and the group’s financial performance.

“Despite significant progress, the challenging trading environment led us to conclude that the company’s long-term future would be best served as part of a larger group and Sports Direct will enable us to do this.”

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