JJB Sports goes into administration with 3,500 job losses
Britain's battered high street suffered another major blow after administrators managed to save just 20 JJB Sports stores, with the demise of the retailer costing 3,500 jobs and leading to the closure of 160 shops.
Sports Direct was thought to be looking at buying 60 shops but om Monday announced a £24m deal to buy just 20 of the best-performing sites in a deal that saves 550 jobs.
On top of the stores, Sports Direct has snapped up the heart of JJB, including its name, stock, warehouse, Wigan headquarters and the Slazenger Golf brand licence.
The threat of a lengthy competition investigation by the OFT into a Sports Direct deal is thought to have discouraged founder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley from a larger deal.
The JJB name is now set to disappear from the high street altogether, with Sport Direct rebranding the 20 surviving shops under its own name.
Dave Whelan, who founded the company in 1971, said the collapse of JJB was due to “just pure bad management”.
JJB follows Clinton Cards, Game and Peacocks as high street casualties this year. On Monday, Optical Express also said it would close 40 stores and appoint administrators to one of its subsidiaries.
This means that 2012 is now the worst year since 2008 for job losses in the retail industry.
According to property agent CBRE, 38,000 jobs have been lost this year, while the Local Data Company said there are now 23,258 empty shops in town centres across Britain.