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JD Sports Says ‘Key Footwear Styles’ Harder to Get

JD Sports Fashion Plc sees first-quarter sales growth, despite supply chain issues in the footwear sector.Total sales to date for the first 14 weeks ended May 7 rose 5 percent over a year ago despite a “global shortfall in the supply of certain key footwear styles which we expect to improve progressively through the year,” the British company said.
It added that the results underscore its brand and category “strength and breadth.”Business is tracking to expectations and profits for the year ending Jan. 28, 2023 should equal results from the year ended Jan. 29, 2022.Supply chain disruptions have been plaguing the footwear sector. In February, a major fire at a Brazilian factory owned by footwear maker Alpargatas—which is in the process of acquiring a stake in Rothy’s—destroyed a section of machinery. Nike and other brands have felt the effects of Russia’s Ukraine invasion, while Adidas has seen declines in China after speaking out against Xinjiang sourcing and forced labor concerns.
Foot traffic continues to struggle in the U.K., slumping 19.5 percent in April versus 2019 and 15.3 percent down from March, traffic-tracking firm Springboard said.
However, “consumers who remained insulated from the increasing cost of living pressures are currently still spending,” it said, even though footfall hasn’t fully rebounded. It remains to be seen if April’s result is a “precursor to a contraction” in retail sales if inflation chills spending.
Economists expect the U.K.’s economic growth to follow March’s 0.1 percent pullback with another slowdown.