JAG still on expansion trail


JAG said last week the same economic conditions that spiked its drawn-out purchase of retail chain Go Mobile will enable it to set up new stores at good prices.

Managing director John George said the southwest retailer will open a new site in Cornwall and two in Wales in the coming weeks, bringing its store count to 90 after its purchase of 57 Go Mobile outlets in the midlands collapsed over store valuation.

George said he and Go Mobile founder Iain Humphrey failed to agree a price for the chain as trading slowed. He has subsequently returned the shops.

"Trading conditions weren’t as good as when the original agreement was made, so we wanted to take part of the shops but not all of them," added George.

"A lot of the stores didn’t perform as well as expected. There was a big down turn in January, we were hopeful we could go in and change that but it didn’t happen."

George said JAG will look to capitalise on lower rents as the credit crunch hits retailers.

"We can get decent deals for shops in these uncertain times," said George. "We would be keen to get back up to around the 140 mark again, but it’s more about where the opportunities are rather than a finite number. We are trying to go wherever there are opportunities."

George said he would still take certain outlets at the right price. Humphrey said no deal is possible "at the moment".

The pair continue to work together via Shebang Distribution, Humphrey’s distribution business.