Sports Direct closes 8 Jack Wills stores

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// Sports Direct shuts 8 Jack Wills stores
// Mike Ashley’s retail group says it will endeavour to redeploy the staff affected elsewhere within Jack Wills
// Sports Direct still believed to be seeking to slash Jack Wills rents to zero

Sports Direct has shut eight Jack Wills stores after acquiring the premium lifestyle brand via a pre-pack administration deal worth £12.8 million earlier this month.

Jack Wills operates from roughly 98 stores. The store closures are in Marlborough, Derby, Reigate, Rock, Tunbridge Wells, Durham, Kingston and St Albans.

Speaking to the Financial Times on Thursday, Sports Direct said it would endeavour to redeploy the staff affected elsewhere within Jack Wills.

Following the acquisition, all 100 Jack Wills stores in the UK and Ireland, as well as the distribution centre, have been transferred to Sports Direct, along with all 1700 employees.

CBRE is advising Sports Direct on the Jack Wills property portfolio.

Jack Wills continues to occupy stores on license from its administrators until its new owner can negotiate fresh lease agreements.

Earlier this week it emerged that Sports Direct is negotiating with Jack Wills’ landlords to accept rent-free tenancy agreements across some of its worst-performing stores.

Mike Ashley’s retail group is understood to be seeking to slash Jack Wills rents to zero, and is offering landlords five per cent of turnover at the majority of Jack Wills stores.

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