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In other news… JD Sports buys central European multichannel retailer; Burberry raises profit expectations – and Royal Mail launches Sunday deliveries for online orders

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JD Sports buys Central European multichannel retailer as it builds its global reach 

JD Sports has bought a majority stake in a Central European multichannel sports fashion retailer with more than 400 shops.

The UK sports fashion group has taken a 60% stake in Marketing Investment Group (MIG), which trades under brands including Sizeer and 50 Style in nine markets in Central and Eastern Europe. It sells fashion footwear and clothing as well as accessories. In the year to January 31, it turned over about £200m under the ownership of brothers Andrzej and Zbigniew Grząka.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion, says: “This is an exciting acquisition for JD that will further build on the success of our international development strategy, expanding our operations into Central and Eastern Europe. We have observed and admired the development of MIG over a number of years and we are confident that the combination of their highly experienced and knowledgeable management team, together with the expertise of the JD leadership team, will provide the group with strong foundations from which to successfully optimise the opportunities in the region.”

The acquisition is the latest for JD Sports Fashion, which has recently bought a number of retailers as it expands into North America. In Europe, it already runs more than 300 shops in 11 countries in Europe. The retail group explains its strategy like this: “Extending the global reach of our JD fascia is viewed positively by International brands, both existing and new, and we look to leverage that positive regard for our proposition by negotiating enhanced access to new and in-demand products, further increasing the differentiation in our offer.”

JD Sports is a Leading retailer in RXUK Top500 research.

Royal Mail to launch Sunday deliveries

Royal Mail is to start trialling Sunday parcel deliveries for online orders serving “a number” of major UK retailers over the next month. That takes its deliveries to a seven day a week service. 

The delivery company says it is also talking to more retailers about the service, which comes at a time when shoppers, who have grown used to ordering onine during Covid-19 lockdowns, now expect greater levels of convenience. It also follows a record number of deliveries – at 496m – in the Christmas quarter of Royal Mail’s financial year, and comes as Royal Mail is building a second, larger, parcel hub in the Midlands. The new Daventry hub will have capacity to handles more than a million parcels a day. 

Nick Landon, Royal Mail chief commercial officer, says: “The UK already trusts us to deliver their purchases six days a week both quickly and conveniently. Now for the first time our posties will be doing the same thing seven days a week. The last year has reset so many customer expectations and the desire for even more convenient and even more frequent parcel deliveries has certainly been one of them.”

Burberry lifts profit expectations as sales rebound

Burberry has today raised its profit expectations after its sales rebounded in the fourth quarter of its financial year. The luxury fashion retailer says like-for-like sales in the quarter to March 27 are now likely to come in between 28% and 32% up on the same time last year. Over the full year, group revenue will be down by between 10% and 11%, while it is now expecting an adjusted operating profit margin between 15.5% and 16.5% up on last time. 

Burberry has seen fast online growth during the last year, as shoppers have turned to new ways of buying during lockdown, and as it has used digital to drive growth in its business. 

Burberry is ranked Top350 in RXUK Top500 research.

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