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HOW SUCCESSFUL IS SPORTS DIRECT'S STRATEGY IN COMPARISON WITH ITS CLOSEST COMPETITORS?

<strong>JONATHAN PRITCHARD </strong> ORIEL SECURITIES<br />Sports Direct is benefiting from better demand on the high street for its wares but also making hay whilst its competition is struggling, and as we approach the World Cup next June we see sales growth accelerating further. Given the problems at JJB and the change of tack at JD Sports, Sports Direct has a pretty clear run at it.<br /><br /><strong>KATHARINE WYNNE </strong> INVESTEC SECURITIES<br />Sports Direct has enjoyed a recent trading period where its most direct competitor has been significantly short of stock and a material number of competitor sites have left the market. JJB Sports is now re-stocking stores, but we acknowledge that Sports Direct&rsquo;s discount positioning continues to play to consumers&rsquo; current preferences.<br /><br /><strong>MATTHEW MCEACHRAN </strong> SINGER CAPITAL MARKETS<br />Sports Direct&rsquo;s performance has been largely driven by improvements within the UK retail division, where the back-to-basics strategy and a combination of seasonal conditions, weak competition and promotions have contributed towards the uplifts. We see scope for further upward pressure on forecasts as we move into the second half.