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Sports Direct shop relocation opens door to latest site for rival JD Gyms

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Recent health club market debutant JD Sports has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council to extend its large store on Newcastle’s main shopping street and incorporate a two-storey JD Gym.

The sportswear giant caused ripples when it opened its first budget gym offering in Hull earlier this year and was swiftly followed into the health club market by retail rival Sports Direct.

Now JD Gyms hopes to capitalise on the obvious synergy between gyms and sportswear through renovations to its store on Newcastle’s Northumberland Street. Next-door neighbour HMV is to move to a site recently vacated coincidentally by Sports Direct in the nearby Intu Eldon Square, giving JD Sports the chance to seek planning permission for its latest gym, utilising the space left by HMV.

The gym market expansions of JD Sports and Sports Direct has sparked interest among many industry observers, with the two firms' retail rivalry expected to spill over into the health club sector. Sports Direct appeared to seize the upper-hand with a series of lightning acquisitions, however the latest developments show JD Sports is still eager to make its mark.

The Newcastle plans would see the frontage and basements of the combined buildings turned into JD Sports retail space, while upstairs would house a two-storey JD Gym. The gym would feature two cardio areas with more than 70 machines, two strength zones, a freeweight zone, plus a studio and a group cycling area, according to The Journal. It is not yet clear who would provide equipment for the site – the initial JD Gym in Hull featured fitness products from Technogym and Freemotion.

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Recent health club market debutant JD Sports has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council to extend its large store on Newcastle’s main shopping street and incorporate a two-storey JD Gym.
HAF
Both JD Sports and HMV occupy prominent spots on Newcastle's popular shopping stretch Northumberland Street / Graham Soult
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