JD Sports is asking customers to choose from a wish list of labels they want to see in its stores in a move that has surprised brand owners.
The sports fashion chain is asking visitors to its website to rate brands that it does not stock according to how much they would like to see them in store.
Labels on the list include G-Star, Miss Sixty and Duffer of St George.
Shoppers are also being asked to choose their top three from the retailer’s current brands, which include Ben Sherman, Levi’s, Nike and Puma, as well as its own brands McKenzie, Brookhaven and Rivington.
Website visitors taking part in the “Best of The Best” survey could win a supply of trainers for a year.
One source from a brand not stocked in JD said: “I’m surprised the business is asking customers about what brands they want when JD hasn’t talked to us about it.”
Another source added: “They haven’t approached us, but with a retailer of that size, if the store environment and brand mix is right we would look at it.”
However, chief executive Barry Bown said the survey was not a precursor to a major brand overhaul. He added that the business was not in talks with any of the brands. He said: “We’re just asking customers what they think. We always like to increase our knowledge of our customers. Our brand mix will remain as it has been over the past two or three years.”
The retailer’s move to a more fashion-oriented offer and store format has helped to boost its sales. It opened a showcase store at Manchester Arndale Centre in October featuring a more fashion-focused shopfit.
The company is also continuing its revamp programme, with stores at Darlington and Wimbledon in London the most recent to get a makeover. The refurbishment strategy includes changing the name from JD Sports to JD.
JD’S POLL POSITION
Current JD brands:
Adidas, Ben Sherman, Boxfresh, Fred Perry, Lee Jeans, Nike, O’Neill, Rocawear, Speedo, Timberland
Non-JD brands in the survey:
Bench, G-Star, Henleys, Hooch, North Face, Sonetti, Superdry.