JD Sports Still Eyes Expansion

JD Sports, the publicly traded British parent of the Finish Line, has not altered its strategy for increasing the JD and Finish Line nameplates across the U.S. despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Current plans call for increasing JD banners in major metropolitan areas through a combination of new openings and Finish Line store conversions where appropriate. During the first half of its fiscal year ended Aug. 1, six Finish Line stores were transformed. Current plans calls for up to 30 more conversions in the second half and the opening of a flagship store in Times Square, albeit with expected lower foot traffic than initially forecast, in October.

First half U.S. revenues rose 13.8 percent in British pounds during the first half to the U.S. dollar equivalent of $1.08 billion. The sales were generated by 495 Finish Line doors, 17 JD banners (versus 11 at end of prior period) and 295 Finish Line concept shops inside Macy’s locations. Total U.S. revenues expanded nearly 50 percent including physical stores and digital sales from May until half’s end, helped by U.S. government stimulus checks. First-half EBIT in the U.S. were up 106 percent year-over-year to the equivalent of $95.7 million. In a statement, JD confirmed its ongoing work with vendor partners on possibly pushing forward second-half orders given its first half U.S. inventory was down approximately 40 percent year-over-year to $191.3 million.