MORE than half of the JJB stores acquired by rival retailer Sports Direct have been returned to landlords, according to reports.
The sportswear brand, run by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, took on 20 stores and the Wigan headquarters of JJB in a £24m deal in October.
But lease terms have not been renegotiated with landlords and 14 of the stores have already been closed.
Business insiders are also suggesting that while negotiations are still ongoing, Sports Direct are likely to return the remaining six taken on as part of the deal.
Wigan firm JJB went into administration in September.
In the months since, their stores have been taken on by budget retailer B&M Bargains and DW Sports.
DW chief executive Winston Higham told the Evening Post last week that the company was unlikely to take on what was Wigan’s last remaining JJB store on Robin Park having already taken over the Grand Arcade store.