Closure threat to sport shops

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EMBATTLED retailer JJB Sports has announced plans to shut 45 stores and has said another 50 are in danger of closure as it moves to shore up its finances.

The company, which has nine stores in the North East and two in Sunderland, currently employs 6,300 staff in more than 250 stores across the UK, said it was seeking a fresh rent deal with landlords under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will enable it to go ahead with the store closure.

The plans require approval from shareholders and involve paying reduced rent for stores set for closure and paying rent on these stores monthly rather than quarterly.

But the retailer warned if it failed to reach an agreement, the firm would face administration.

The CVA, which will be the second in as many years if approved, follows months of deteriorating trade and a recent bid to raise £31.5m from its two largest shareholders.

JJB chairman Mike McTighe said: “The board and management team are working urgently on a fundamental restructuring plan which will significantly strengthen JJB’s finances and build on the group’s strengths.”

JJB has two stores in Sunderland – in High Street West and on Hylton Retail Park.