Low unemployment amongst young driving demand, says JD Sports boss
LONDON (Reuters) – Historically low unemployment for the young is driving demand for JD Sports Fashion’s trainers, joggers and hoodies despite accelerating living costs, its boss said on Wednesday.
“Our key customer target is a young adult and the young adult all over the world is benefiting from low unemployment,” CEO Régis Schultz told reporters.
“That is driving the morale and the revenue of our key customer,” he said after JD reported record results for its 2022-23 year.
He said there was little difference between British, European and U.S. consumers.
“We are seeing the same trends, we are seeing the same appetite for new product,” he said, noting wearing trainers or sneakers was the “new normal” for footwear.
“You see that in the street – 80% of shoes are sneakers, ten years ago it was formal shoes and sneakers are much less expensive than a formal shoe,” he said.
Schultz said on average its prices are 5% to 10% higher year-on-year and he expected further small increases going forward.
“The key reason for inflation in our industry has been transportation and energy costs. In both cases it’s coming down and it’s coming to an end, so we should see (consumer) prices coming back to a normal inflation,” he said.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)