Belfast Telegraph

Williams aims to give JJB a sporting chance

By Graeme Evans

A former director of lingerie chain La Senza has been appointed to lead the turnaround strategy at another troubled retailer, JJB Sports.

Beverley Williams, who takes the chief executive's role vacated by Keith Jones last week, will work alongside US retail recovery specialist Bob Corliss as they look to revive the performance of the sports goods firm. Wigan-based JJB admitted recently that more poor sales figures meant it would need additional funds to support its store overhaul programme.

Ms Williams was commercial director and co-chief executive of La Senza but left last year before its collapse into administration in January. She was previously general manager of Contessa, which merged with La Senza in 2007.

Mr Corliss, who previously ran franchise-based footwear business, The Athlete's Foot, said Ms Williams has a wealth of experience in multi-channel retailing.

Ms Williams, who will hold the role on an interim basis, said: "JJB has a great deal of potential and I am confident that with the continued help and commitment of our staff, suppliers and investors we can forge a stronger future for the business."

JJB, which has 180 stores and employs some 4,000 people, secured a lifeline three months ago when it landed £20m from American retailer Dick's Sporting Goods and a further £10m from existing shareholders.