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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 2. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, JD Sports Fashion

2 peter cowgill

JD Sports Fashion has had another phenomenal year, as sales and profits have continued to rise at record rates. Steered by executive chairman Peter Cowgill, it has focused on further improving in-store customer service and experience, and building on its already-strong relationships with brands. Pre-tax profit was up 33% to £102.7m for the 26 weeks to 29 July, as group revenue soared by 41% to £1.4bn.

Meanwhile, Cowgill has continued his aggressive acquisition strategy. In May, JD’s bid to buy Go Outdoors – which has 58 stores across the UK – was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.

In September, JD snapped up a 15% stake in South Korean multi-brand footwear retailer Hot-T for £5.5m, with the option to buy a further 35% stake. These companies join a portfolio that already includes the JD chain, Size?, Scotts, Tesutti, Cloggs, Millets and Blacks.

And while it might sound like he has enough on his hands, Cowgill found time to join the board of fast-growing womenswear retailer Quiz as independent non-executive chairman in July. His influence on the industry continues to grow, cementing his position at number two in the Top 100 for the second year running.

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