HIGH street sportswear chain JD Sports, which has two shops in Newport, has warned that their profits have been affected by 'weak' footfall during the coronavirus lockdown.

The company said that cost rises, caused by an increase of online sales, have weighed down on half-year profits.

JD Sports added that its pre-tax profits for the six months to August 1 slipped by 68 per cent to £41.5 million.

The shops also had a loss of revenue - down to £2.54 billion from £2.71 billion for the same period last year - after they were forced to shut temporarily in March.

Where are JD Sports shops in Gwent?

  • Friars Walk Shopping Centre, Newport.
  • Newport Retail Park, Newport.
  • Castle Court Shopping Centre, Caerphilly.
  • Cwmbran Shopping Centre, Cwmbran.

Executive chairman and founder of JD Sports, Peter Cowgill said: "Retail footfall remains comparatively weak and the recent strengthening of measures in many countries and the subsequent temporary closure of some stores reminds us that Covid-19 remains an ongoing challenge."

He told investors that the company now expects to deliver a headline profit before tax of at least £265 million for the current full year.


The company said it retained 'significant' sales during the period of store closures as customers moved online, but saw profitability pressed down by additional online costs.

They added that attracting footfall into shopping centres "remains a significant challenge."

Mr Cowgill said: "Ultimately, given the unique circumstances of this trading period, we are reassured by the strength of the JD brand as demonstrated by the retention of more than 90 per cent of the total revenues.

"However, it should be recognised that this has necessitated additional costs principally relating to the provision of enhanced health and safety measures, in all areas of the business, together with increased costs of online fulfilment, including performance marketing."