JJB name still up for sale

Closed - the flagship JJB store at Robin Park
Closed - the flagship JJB store at Robin Park

THE JJB Sports brand may not be about to disappear from the high street just yet, it has emerged.

The crisis-hit Wigan based company entered administration on Monday with rival retailer Sports Direct taking on 20 stores in a deal worth just under £24m.

But administrators KPMG confirmed to the Evening Post that the JJB brand name is still available as Sports Direct has claimed the rights to their website domains and sportswear brands such as the Slazenger golf range.

A spokesman for KPMG, said: “It is still possible that a buyer can take on the remaining stores and keep the JJB brand, they would just not be able to trade online with the old JJB website.

“We are still actively talking to all of those interested parties we had already spoken to as part of the administration process to see what they would do with the brand and the stores still under administration.”

Wigan’s one remaining store on Robin Park was among 133 closed with all but one of their 28 staff being made redundant. Although there was a reprieve for the Martland Mill based headquarters, which was taken on by Sports Direct, saving 258 jobs, with a further 153 job losses.

JJB founder Dave Whelan’s DW Sports were reported to be interested in taking on some stores prior to the administration announcement this week.

Winston Higham, Chief Executive of DW, was non-committal about increasing rumours linking the company with a future sale, but said: “We are obviously interested in any sites which can strengthen and benefit our business and grow the DW brand.

“We have already increased the number of DW stores from 53 to 68 including the former JJB store in the Grand Arcade which is doing fantastically well.”