2,200 jobs to be lost as JJB Sports goes into administration

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Monday, October 1, 2012

A JJB Sports branch in Belfast.
Image: Ardfern.

JJB Sports, British sports clothing and equipment retail chain, is to make 2,200 employees in the United Kingdom redundant as it enters administration.

In a £24m deal, Sports Direct have agreed to purchase and rebrand 20 stores as well as purchasing the brand, stock, website, the license to the Slazenger Golf brand and JJB's Wigan headquarters. The deal with Sports Direct will keep 500 employees in work. In addition, 167 employees will continue working for JJB while KPMG, the appointed administrators, wind the company down.

The bulk of the money from the Sports Direct deal will go to pay back loans made by Lloyds Banking Group as well as money owned to the sports clothing brand Adidas and the American sports retailer Dick's Sporting Goods, who had previously invested £20m in JJB. Shareholders are not expected to get any payout.

Former professional footballer and Wigan FC owner Dave Whelan, who founded the company in 1971 and sold his share in 2007, decided not to invest to save the business. To the BBC he said, "When I sold it — I sold it something like five years ago — just before that it was valued at a billion pounds. Now it's completely worthless and it's amazing how it's happened."


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