JD Sports has purchased an 8 percent stake in Footasylum, which has 70 stores in the United Kingdom.

JD Sports has said it is not planning a takeover of its smaller rival, but would be interested in buying more shares, right up to the 29.9 per cent threshold, at which it would be forced to make an offer to buy the entire business.

Footasylum was established in 2005 by a co-founder of JD Sports and targets younger, more fashion-conscious customers. JD Sports, which acquired The Finish Line in the U.S. last year, has over 2,400 stores.