After years of strong growth, the sports goods market has faltered
and the predicted shake-out of specialist retailers has begun with last
week’s collapse of retailer Cobra.
Fellow retailer JJB is likely to report worse than expected full-year
figures today. Analysts also predict the company will announce a scaling
down from the 35 new superstores it had planned to launch this year.
Meanwhile, market leader Sports Division has postponed its pounds 350m
flotation, expected this spring, to at least the second half of the
Market analysts are painting a downbeat picture of this year’s trading
prospects despite the forthcoming World Cup.
The 65-store Cobra chain called in the administrators last week and
appears to have suffered from a price war raging between the biggest
specialist retailers: JJB Sports, j-D Sports, Sports Division and First
Sport. The war has been fought over leading sports brands Nike, Reebok