Embattled UK sporting goods retailer JJB Sports has restructured its retail operations management team, which will be headed by Phil Swaine, its associate director of retail operations.

Swaine has been with the company for ten years and will now oversee a management team of 60 people.

His core team consists of Paul Wooding, head of retail; John Hitchen, head of merchandising; Julian Dean, head of training; and the company's six regional managers.

JJB announced in April it was to close 72 underperforming stores as part of a regeneration plan for its UK store portfolio led by CEO Chris Ronnie.

The company then announced shock first-half losses of GBP9.7m (US$17m) in September, with the company's auditors casting "significant doubt" on its ability to continue as a going concern.

Meanwhile, rival retailer Sports Direct snapped up a GBP3.4m stake in JJB last month, representing a 5% share in the business.

Swaine said today (7 November): "Our commitment is to make JJB the number one sports retailer in the UK, it is as simple as that.

"The relationships the stores have with their managers, area managers and us, is, we believe, quite unique.

"The whole team has had a real grounding of being out there on the shop floor and we still spend much of our time in the stores, ensuring standards are met and customers are happy.

"There are exciting times ahead for JJB Sports and our newly structured Retail Operations Management team is keen to get started."