Global ExpansionThe Group’s principal JD fascia has been widely recognised for a number of years as the leading retailer of branded and own brand sports fashion apparel and footwear in the UK and Ireland. Increasingly, the JD fascia is attracting a similar reputation internationally with further significant expansion in mainland Europe where we now have more than 300 stores across 11 countries, including the first stores in Austria. There has also been further expansion in the Asia Pacific region, particularly Australia. The development of JD in the United States is also now starting to gain momentum with a further six stores opened in the year which includes the conversion of five former Finish Line stores. Notwithstanding the operating restrictions caused by COVID-19, it remains our intention to convert at least a further 20 stores to JD in the year to January 2021.
Store PortfolioWe are engaged in omnichannel retail with the retail estate being essential to brand and product awareness, the customers’ overall digital experience and our ability to provide multiple delivery points. We believe that the combination of a differentiated product offering, presented in a well fitted store with world class standards of retail theatre, are major drivers of footfall to our stores.
Considerable time and financial resources are invested in expanding and refurbishing our retail property portfolio although we continue to work with landlords on ensuring that our portfolio of leases has maximum flexibility.