JD Sports enters the Middle East as part of global expansion drive | City & Business | Finance

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High street sportswear and trainers giant JD Sports has opened its first store in the Middle East, with plans to open around 50 in the region by 2028.

JD’s newest store is in Bahrian’s beachfront Marassi Galleria Mall and is the first to be opened under a 10 year franchise agreement with Dubai-based GMG. The pair will open stores in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt.

Chris Rowan, JD’s international franchise director, said: “We are very excited to see our first store in the region come to life and look forward to welcoming our new customers.

“This is a further milestone in our international expansion strategy and we are delighted to be working with GMG, one of the Middle East’s most respected companies, as we continue to bring JD’s distinctive offering to more customers globally.”

Founded in Manchester in 1981, JD has grown to become a dominant high street retailer, with stores in 39 countries in Europe, Asia and North America. Last month it acquired US sportswear retailer Hibbett for $1.1billion (£878million), a deal that chief executive Regis Schultz said will accelerate its growth in the US.

JD has its annual results at the end of the month. Back in March, it warned that higher than normal levels of discounting and tough comparisons with last year had led to its fourth quarter sales growth slipping to just 0.1 percent. It said that its January sales in particular were down year-on-year due to “elevated promotional activity in the market”, particularly online.


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