JJB Sports is in “advanced talks” to appoint a new chief executive after Keith Jones stepped down amid a further slide in sales at the struggling retailer.
The company, which recently named US retail turnaround specialist Bob Corliss as chairman, said Jones will stay on in an advisory capacity until the end of August.
Corliss, who previously ran footwear business The Athlete’s Foot, is due to formally take over as chairman on 1 September. JJB said an announcement on Jones’ successor could be made as early as Monday, but declined to comment on speculation that Corliss could be appointed chief executive.
Like-for-like sales dropped 8.7 per cent in the 24 weeks to 15 July as poor weather and weak demand for replica kits resulted in a disappointing Euro 2012.
Net debt stood at £17.7 million as of 18 July, up from £15.4m at the start of the month.
Last week, JJB said it was seeking another round of rescue funds just three months after securing £20m from US retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods and £10m from existing shareholders such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The company, which trades from 180 stores and employs 4,000 people, has been hit by competition from high street and internet rivals including Sports Direct.
Corliss said: “During his time at JJB, Keith helped to secure vital additional funding for the business and significantly strengthened relations with our major supplier partners.”
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