JJB sports seeks further round of rescue funding

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Beleaguered retail chain JJB Sports is to seek another round of rescue funds after seeing its turnaround hopes derailed by poor summer trading.

With headroom on lending terms becoming increasingly tight, JJB has started talks with “strategic partners” about the funds needed for overhauling stores that it had thought would not be required until early next year.

The move comes just three months after the Wigan-based chain landed £20m from American retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods and a further £10m from existing shareholders, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Its plight has deteriorated in recent weeks after poor weather and weak demand for replica kits resulted in a disappointing Euro 2012 for the retailer.

Like-for-like sales were down by 8.7 per cent in the 24 weeks to July 15, although stores refurbished under its turnaround programme performed much better.

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