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JD Sports Picks Retail Veteran Higginson As New Chairperson

Britain's largest sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion on Friday named Andrew Higginson, former chair of supermarkets group Morrisons, as its new chairperson, replacing Peter Cowgill who was ousted in May.

Higginson, who was the chairman of Morrisons when it was taken over by private-equity firm CD&R last year, has held senior roles for nearly 15 years at Britain's no.1 supermarket chain Tesco.

He started his new role at JD Sports on Monday.

Read More: Morrisons Investors Approve £10bn CD&R Takeover

Internal Governance

JD Sports ousted longstanding executive chairman Cowgill due to issues with internal governance and controls.

Cowgill managed the group ever since Barry Bown stepped down as the chief executive officer in 2014.

Subject to several investigations by Britain's antitrust watchdog, JD Sports had laid out plans last month to overhaul its corporate governance structure and internal controls and stressed on the need for a more experienced board.

The FTSE-100 group, which last year split the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, is yet to appoint a CEO.

Pay Increase 

On 13 June, the supermarket group announced that it was planning to raise the pay for store workers as competition to attract and retain staff hots up.

UK employers are offering higher pay deals in the face of staff shortages and accelerating prices, as the Bank of England watches those settlements closely as it weighs the risk that a jump in inflation to a 40-year high of 9% becomes embedded in the economy.

Morrisons, Britain's fourth largest grocer behind Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, said that from October it will pay its over 80,000 store and manufacturing staff a minimum of £10.20 ($12.56) an hour. Workers in London will get a minimum of £11.05.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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