Sports Unlimited Retail, which includes the chains Perry Sport, Aktiesport and Sprinter, declared bankruptcy in December 2023, after previously being financially supported by its owner JD Sports.

The report is said to show that JD Sports strategy to close stores and bring others under the Sprinter brand did not help to turn around the company, which suffered a loss of €8.9m in 2021, increasing to a loss of €16.5m in 2022.

Losses also increased in 2023, with a recorded loss of €19.4m in the months up to the end of October, with the total loss for the full year likely to be higher after the final few months of trading are added.

JD Sports reportedly financed loans and credit for the chain, but decided in November 2023 that it could no longer subsidise the losses, leading the Dutch company to file for bankruptcy the following month.

The report’s curator attributed the losses to store closures during the Covid-19 pandemic and rising costs due to inflation. It adds that converting stores to the Sprinter format likely made the situation worse, as stores had to temporarily close and the revamp caused “inefficiencies” as new cash registers and automated systems were installed.

JD Sports acquired the Sprinter chain in 2011, and later purchased Perry Sport and Aktiesport in 2016.

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By GlobalData

British fashion conglomerate Frasers Group is reportedly in talks to purchase up to 20 stores from the collapsed Sports Unlimited Retail chain, saving some of the 1,100 employees at the group.

In October 2023, Frasers Group acquired German retailer SportScheck, one of the country’s leading sports retailers, as part of wider plans to increase its European presence.

JD Sports had not responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.

A spokesperson from Sports Unlimited Retail previously told Just Style as the bankruptcy was announced: “Sports Unlimited Retail BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iberian Sports Retail Group, appointed a bankruptcy trustee under Dutch law on 6 December, 2023. We appreciate this is a difficult time for SUR colleagues in the Netherlands and we are doing our utmost to support them in conjunction with ISRG and the bankruptcy trustee.”