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JD Sports continues Aussie expansion

JD SPORTSBritish sports retailer, JD Sports, will continue its Aussie expansion and in the process complete the final piece of the Pacific Fair redevelopment jigsaw puzzle on the Gold Coast, opening its second flagship on 22 June.

Following on from its first flagship at Melbourne Central, the ‘King of Trainers’ second store will open doors at the ‘The Resort’ precinct, alongside Uniqlo, Zara and Sephora at the AMP Capital-owned shopping centre.

The 400sqm JD Sports space will offer a range of leading global brands including Lacoste, Reebok, Ellesse and The North Face, with over 50 products launching.

The new location comes after its first store in Melbourne is “currently trading above expectations” and “selling out of products” according to Hilton Seskin, head of JD Australia. Seskin told Inside Retail that this is especially evident in the exclusive ranges that the British retailer has brought into the local market. “JD gets access to the best global product and is becoming the destination for launches – this is evident by our recent allocation of the Adidas Originals Yeezy 350 Boost V2,” he said.

The retail veteran, who also founded Rebel Sports in Sydney back in 1985, said Pacific Fair was a good fit for the apparel and footwear brand’s second offering.

“Queensland as a state has always ranked highly in terms of search interest and sessions online for us,” he said.

“Pacific Fair appealed to JD because of the adjacencies with other global retailers, and the fact that the centre is a destination for the Gold Coast consumer.

“We know there is a customer at the Gold Coast who wants the best in sports fashion, and given the active nature of the region we feel like we can capitalise here.”

While weather conditions and consumer variances will dictate buying and merchandising decisions for each JD store, Seskin said  the main difference at its Pacific Fair store is the inclusion of externally facing large format digital executions.

“These are bespoke elements only found in a handful of JD stores globally, and a massive win for the JD Australia business – digital is a massive focus in stores and this only further establishes JD as the best in class multi-channel retailer within the marketplace.”

The opening of JD Sports will see the completion of the redevelopment on Pacific Fair, which recently added Running Bare and Betty’s Burgers to its tenancy mix that now comprises over 400 stores.

JD’s opening represents the end of the major $670 million redevelopment, which commenced in January 2014. First-to-market designs and new store concepts have underpinned the repositioning of the Gold Coast location, which has increased its retail space from 98,000sqm to 155,000sqm.

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