BRITAIN’S biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion confirmed yesterday that French businessman and former B&Q executive Régis Schultz is to become its chief executive.

The appointment follows a “global search”, and the announcement comes a day after JD Sports, known as the “king of trainers”, sold its Footasylum chain to a German investment firm following a protracted battle with the UK competition watchdog.

He joins JD from Al-Futtaim Group, the Dubai-based conglomerate which is partner to many global companies across the automotive, retail, financial services, real estate and health sectors, where he has been president of retail since 2019.

Prior to this, Mr Schultz was CEO of Monoprix, the French food and fashion retailer that is part of Groupe Casino.

He is said to have a strong track record of effecting transformational change through digitisation, driving multi-channel growth strategies and working across international markets.

Andrew Higginson, non-executive chairman of JD, noted: “The board has taken this opportunity to conduct a truly global search to find the right candidate to lead JD on the next stage in its development.

“Régis brings exactly the characteristics we were looking for. He is a retailer through and through with experience across all types of retail formats. He has also delivered transformational change through digitisation in a number of his roles. Finally, he has significant international experience which will be very important as he works with myself and our senior team to execute on our growth strategy.”

Describing JD as “one of the most successful operators of multi-brand retail formats in the world”, Mr Schultz, who is expected to join the firm in September, noted: “We are committed to going deeper in the international development of our brands, applying our experience and executional expertise and further enhancing our market leading multi-channel customer experience.”