Wednesday, December 19, 2018

JJB Sports to enter administration


Sports retailer JJB is to call in administrators today having failed to attract a suitable offer, it has been announced.

At the end of last month, JJB announced a formal sale process and saw interest from “a number of parties” over the intervening weeks though the company confirmed today that the offer period has ended.

Despite these offers to acquire the business, which have reportedly been made by companies including rival Sports Direct, the retailer does not expect an offer for company shares and as such is to appoint administrators, likely its advisers KPMG.

A statement from the retailer said: “The Board has determined that any sale of the trade, assets and brands will be effected through an administration process.

“Therefore it is expected that the process to commence the appointment of administrators of the Company and certain of its subsidiaries will begin today although the actual appointments are only likely to take effect just before the completion of any such sale.

“The Company currently hopes to be in a position to announce a sale of the trade, assets and brands of the Group within the next few days.”

JJB was keen to point out that it will continue trading from all of its outlets until the process is completed though it is expected that thousands of jobs may be lost as a result of this latest high street casualty.

Retail analyst firm Conlumino‘s Managing Director Neil Saunders said that this sad conclusion was inevitable for the company adding that, although many may be interested in parts of the business, taking on the whole operation would be “neither attractive nor financially feasible.”

He explained: “The harsh truth is that, in its current form, there is not much room for JJB in a market that has become far more competitive and crowded and where players like Sports Direct have been gobbling up market share.

“Sadly, JJB has compounded this problem with a positioning that is very unclear and not at all compelling to consumers. It is now paying the ultimate price for this failure.

“In our view we will see a number of parties cherry pick key assets, including stores. However, there will inevitably be store closures and there will inevitably be redundancies.”