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New MD to integrate Go Outdoors and Blacks businesses

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Lee Bagnall has been appointed Managing Director of two JD Sports brands, Go Outdoors and Blacks.

Go Outdoors, a major fishing tackle retailer in the UK, has a new managing director as its parent company, JD Sports, continues to integrate it further into the business.

The growing fashion sports retailer from the North West of England has appointed Lee Bagnall as MD at both Go Outdoors, which it acquired for £112.3 million in November 2017, and its outdoor apparel, footwear and equipment retailer, Blacks.

The announcement was made as JD Sports reported its performance for the first half of the year, which showed operating profit rise by 19.9% compared to the same period last year.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports Executive Chairman, told investors that it continues to plan for further integration of its Outdoor business segment. “We believe that the most efficient way of leveraging stock across Blacks and Go Outdoors is through access to one pool of stock with common merchandising systems and shared central warehousing.

“Go Outdoors will transfer into shared warehousing in the first half of next year.” He added that under Bagnall there will be further integration of the management teams.

In the Outdoor sector of the business, sales for the first half of the year reached £208.2 million, up from £196.6 million from the same period in 2017.

“After capitalising on the opportunities provided by the severe weather in the early part of the year, we exited the first quarter with total like-for-like growth across stores and online of 7%. However, trading in the second quarter was very challenging with the hot and dry weather across the UK for long periods having a significant impact on footfall into our stores.

“Notwithstanding the weaker trading, we ended the half with a total like-for-like which was still marginally positive.”

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