COMMENT - Sad day as JJB up for sale

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THE announcement may have become more or less inevitable after weeks of relentlessly negative developments, but the news JJB is up for sale is still extremely sad for this landmark Wigan company.

Since the early 1970s, when Dave Whelan turned a humble fishing apparatus shop into a sports retail giant, the green-and-blue JJB livery has been a constant presence on the High Street and a name inextricably linked across the country with Wigan.

At one point the company owned more than 400 stores and was branching out with a shop in the Netherlands, but how times have changed.

The company has lost all its links with Wigan’s sports teams, at a time when they are doing more than ever to put the town on the national map.

Competition from specialist online retailers has eaten into its market of dedicated sports fans, while the likes of Sports Direct have attracted those looking for a bargain in droves.

The future is now uncertain, although it is almost certainly likely to lead to store closures and job cuts, and the axe falling completely cannot be ruled out.

A terrible fate for a once-proud firm.