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JD Sports pulls support for Dutch retail group leading to bankruptcy

By FashionUnited


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Perry Sport store in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Credits: FashionUnited

Sports Unlimited Retail had been making losses for several years, according to the trustee's first bankruptcy report. The losses were always compensated by UK parent company JD Sports Fashion Plc, but when it decided to stop doing so in November 2023, Sports Unlimited Retail filed for its own bankruptcy.

Sports Unlimited Retail is the parent company of Aktiesport, Perry Sport and Sprinter shops in the Netherlands. The latter was introduced in 2023 by converting Aktiesport and Perry Sport shops to the Sprinter formula. The one-off costs of the conversion and a new cash register and ERP system, combined with a decline in sales, meant that EBITDA in the 2023 financial year amounted to a minus 19 million euros, the report said. The 2023 financial year was supposed to run until 31 January 2024, but the company ultimately did not complete the financial year.

In the previous years, losses of 16.4 million, 8.9 million and 18.4 million euros were booked by Sports Unlimited Retail.

Sports Unlimited Retail has been losing tens of millions for years

In mid-January, it emerged that part of the shops under Sports Unlimited Retail would be taken over by UK-based Frasers Group, a move that was later understood to have further included inventory and intellectual property rights. The employees of the impacted shops will be offered new employment contracts.

Perry Sport and Aktiesport were acquired by UK-based JD Sports in 2016, which at the time saved the companies from the bankruptcy of United Sports Group (USG). JD Sports paid 26.5 million euros for the two Dutch chains. Both Perry Sport and Aktiesport were transferred to a new subsidiary: Sports Unlimited Retail. This subsidiary was in turn transferred to another JD Sports subsidiary, Iberian Sports Retail Group S.L. JD Sports already held a majority stake in this Spanish group at the time, and earlier in 2023, the British group acquired all the shares. This meant that JD Sports was once again the full owner of Perry Sport and Aktiesport.

In summer 2023, it was announced that Perry Sport and Aktiesport were being converted to the Sprinter formula, a Spanish sister chain of the two sports retailers. Accordingly, Sprinter's green and white logo appeared on the Dutch streetscape, a rollout that seems to have been accomplished recently.

JD Sports
Perry Sport
Sports Unlimited Retail