Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Dozen jobs lost as JJB shuts up shop in Keighley
A dozen Keighley retail jobs have been lost through the closure of a well-known sports store.
The store at the Keighley Retail Park is one of 133 JJB Sports outlets to be shut after the company was put into administration. Another 20 stores were sold to rival Sports Direct.
The closures have cost about 2,200 jobs in total.
The redundancies came as administrators at KPMG closed the stores and agreed to sell remaining outlets to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International.
The Sports World parent bought the stores, the brand and its website for £23.8 million in a deal that will protect 550 jobs in the UK, including its warehouse. One of JJB Sports’ two Leeds store is included in the sale.
Ilkley-based retail veteran Sir David Jones, former deputy chairman of Morrisons and boss of Grattan and Next, successfully spearheaded moves to save the struggling JJB business when he was chairman for a year until his retirement on health grounds in January 2010.
The sale agreement is a worse-than-expected outcome for JJB staff as Sports Direct was reportedly hoping to safeguard up to 1,500 jobs and buy up to 60 stores.
However, David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner at KPMG, who led the sales process, said the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business was too much risk for most interested parties.
The administrators have set up a 24-hour helpline for employees on 0845 3022538.
Information is also available at kpmg.com/uk/jjb.
JJB’s dramatic rise and fall began when former Blackburn Rovers footballer and Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, who was born in Bradford, bought a single store in Wigan in 1971. An aggressive expansion drive made it the UK’s biggest sports retailer with more than 400 stores before in 2007 Mr Whelan sold his family’s holding for £190 million.
Mr Whelan, who had previously sold a discount store business to Morrisons boss Sir Ken Morrison, had grown the business to 120 stores in 1994 when the company was floated on the stock exchange. Its acquisition of Sports Division in 1998 made JJB the largest sports retailer in the UK.
The group has been hit hard by the squeeze on consumer spending triggered by the financial crisis and the expansion of rivals Sports Direct and JD Sports.
Comments are closed on this article.