The publicly traded United Kingdom-based retailer JD Sports Fashion, which acquired Finish Line’s 563 stores and 188 associated shops inside Macy’s locations in March 2018, reported annual results last week that showed the U.S. operation posted an operating profit of approximately $35.5 million and revenues of $1,289 million for 33 weeks of ownership last year. Overall, JD recorded more than 45 percent of its nearly $6.3 billion in annual revenues in the United Kingdom.
By the end of 2018, JD had converted five former Finish Line stores (Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, OH, Washington, D.C. and Houston) to JD banners. A sixth, in the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN is slated to open shortly.
“It is too early to draw any conclusions from this limited trial over a wide geography without the backup of the trading website, which will be launched later in the spring,” JD Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill said in a statement announcing the retailer’s FY results for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2. But he also added, “We believe that our acquisition…will have positive consequences for our long-term brand engagement whilst significantly extending the Group’s global reach. We maintain our belief that Finish Line is capable of delivering improved levels of profitability.”
In its 30-page, preliminary annual results statement, JD further commented that its U.S. banners will not have a full representation of its product offerings, particularly in apparel, until the second half of 2019. And the banner won’t have U.S. digital capability until later this spring. The company expects to move forward by improving Finish Line’s business in malls and developing JD locations in U.S. metropolitan markets to reach different demographic segments. Already underway: new fixturing in 70 Finish Line stores before Back-to-School and unspecified improvements in visual merchandising across the chain.
With the retirement of former Finish Line CEO Sam Sato at the end of 2018, the U.S. arm of JD is currently being led by the retailer’s CFO and JD’s global retail director with group of key JD commercial managers stateside to assist the Finish Line team.