// Sports Direct to close down 5 more Jack Wills stores
// The stores affected are Bluewater, Oxford, Newcastle, Winchester & London Gatwick airport
// It follows the closure of 8 Jack Wills stores last month after Sports Direct acquired it in a pre-pack administration deal
Sports Direct has revealed it will close down another five Jack Wills stores after acquiring the preppy fashion retailer last month.
The Jack Wills stores earmarked for closure are located in Bluewater, Oxford, Newcastle, Winchester and London Gatwick airport.
This batch of closures follow Sports Direct’s failure to secure lower rents with landlords.
- Jack Wills CEO Suzanne Harlow exits
- Sports Direct closes 8 Jack Wills stores
- Jack Wills sold to Sports Direct in £12.75m pre-pack administration deal
“We are continuing to work hard with our landlords to try to keep as many stores in the existing portfolio open,” a Sports Direct spokesman said.
“Unfortunately, it has not been possible to save these five stores.
“Where possible, Sports Direct is committed to finding new roles within the group for all affected Jack Wills staff.”
Last month, Jack Wills was sold for £12.75 million to Mike Ashley-owned Sports Direct via a pre-pack administration deal, ending a bidding war with Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.
As part of the pre-pack deal, all Jack Wills stores in the UK and Ireland, as well as the distribution centre and all 1700 employees, transferred to Sports Direct.
Jack Wills also moved to a new division established at Sports Direct which will focus solely on buying and building fashion and sports brands, and report to Michael Murray – Ashley’s future son-in-law – in his role as head of elevation.
However, an initial eight stores – out of the roughly 100 Jack Wills stores that was in operation at the time Sports Direct’s takeover – were shut down.
Suzanne Harlow also left her position as chief executive of Jack Wills two weeks after Sports Direct’s takeover.
Sports Direct is reportedly seeking to slash Jack Wills rents, and is offering landlords five per cent of turnover at the majority of its stores.