World’s top sports retailer plans to launch superstore chain in UK

The Sports Authority, the world’s largest sports retailer, is planning to set up a chain of superstores in the UK.

Sports Authority chief executive Jack Smith refuses to comment on any specific details about UK stores, but he confirms that the company is looking at the market.

The 174-store US company is planning to open about 70 new outlets over the next two years. Four of these will be in Japan and a number are thought to be planned for the UK and the rest of Europe. There are already four in Japan and six in Canada.

The stores, which in the US cover about 40,000 sq ft, sell all the major sports brands including Nike, Adidas, Head and Dunlop. They also carry sportswear and equipment for water sports, cycling and skiing.

A new chain of smaller city centre Sports Authority stores is being rolled out across the US. In the last set of financial results sales were at $1.27bn (770m), over twice that of its closest competitor.

The stores would compete against the likes of the UK’s Sports Division, Olympus, and J D Sports outlets.

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