JD Sports rejects ‘prison’ warehouse claims as profits soar more than 80%


Channel 4 reported last year that workers at the Kingsway site in Rochdale were subject to a “three strikes” policy under which they could be fired for chewing gum or sitting down.

JD Sports has now said the allegations “did not represent a balanced characterisation of working practices” at the facility, the Telegraph reports.

“The board appointed Deloitte to conduct an independent review of the allegations made,” the company said. “That review has now been completed and Deloitte’s conclusion was that the allegations did not represent a balanced characterisation of working practices at Kingsway.”

The rebuttal came as the FTSE 250 company posted its third consecutive year of double digit like-for-like growth in its stores.

In its full-year results for the 52 weeks ended January 28, JD Sports said profits before tax jumped 81 per cent to £238.4m, compared to £131.6m in the previous year. Revenue rose to £2.4bn from £1.8bn.

The retailer also stepped its European expansion, with 54 new stores opening across the continent, compared to 38 in the same period of the previous year.

It also opened two more stores in Malaysia, while its first Australian outlet is due to open “shortly”.

“The foundation of this success remains our core Sports Fashion fascias where JD’s continued strength in its core markets is increasingly being complemented by momentum in our international development, with a net increase of 54 JD stores across mainland Europe during the year,” said executive chairman Peter Cowgill.