Saturday, June 19, 2021

Sports Direct to sell more brands in premium push

Sports Direct is reportedly planning to offload more of its 28 brands in an effort to raise its profile and shed financial baggage.

The news comes after the sportswear retailer penned a £112 million deal last month to sell its Dunlop brand to Japanese rubber company Sumitomo.

Sources close to the company have suggested this is part of an effort to take the brand more upmarket, according to The Telegraph. 

Brands like Everlast, Kangol and Lonsdale are all thought to be up for sale by the company‘s owner Mike Ashley.

Ashley has recently been ramping up investment into his new retail chain Flannels, selling luxury fashion brands like Michael Kors and Gucci.

READ MORE: Shock £112 million deal sees Sports Direct sell Dunlop

He is also said to be in talks with the House of Fraser, attempting to secure a concession stand for Lillywhites, the London sportwear retailer purchased by Ashley in 2002.

However, House of Fraser are said to be tentative in penning a deal, as they raised doubts as to whether Lillywhites could any longer be considered a “premium” brand and that the building now looks like a giant Sports Direct.

Senior sources stated that the department store chain had asked Ashley to prove it could attract top sports brands, considering he has openly admitted to having a troubled relationship with global brands like Nike and Adidas.

House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin told The Telegraph the department store would welcome Lillywhites as one of our brand partners. At no point have we requested that the brand be improved”. 

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