New Frasers CEO insists Mike Ashley isn’t pulling the strings

New Frasers CEO insists Mike Ashley isn't pulling the strings
Mike Ashley is Murray's future father-in-law
// New Frasers Group CEO Michael Murray insists that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley  his future father-in-law – is not pulling the strings at the business
// Murray took over as CEO this week becoming one of the youngest chief executives in the FTSE 250

New Frasers Group chief executive Michael Murray has insisted that founder of the group Mike Ashley – his future father-in-law – isn’t pulling the strings at the business.

Murray, who took over as CEO this week, insisted he had “proven his worth” to the business during his three years as head of elevation at Frasers Group, where he has led efforts to modernise the business to appeal to today’s shoppers.

Frasers Group includes Sports Direct, House of Frasers, USC and Evans Cycles.

“Mike wouldn’t put me up for a job that he didn’t think I could excel in,” he told the BBC. “Mike is not pulling the strings. From the day I became CEO, the final decision lies with me.”

Murray, aged 32, became one of the youngest CEOS of the FTSE 250. Ahead of him taking the CEO role, MM Prop Consultancy, a firm owned by Murray, was paid £20.9 million by Frasers to terminate any agreements between the two companies and avoid a conflict of interest.


Murray said a different mindset was needed to take the Sports Direct-owner “forward into the next generation”

“What I want to do is to build on the retail excellence which Mike’s created over the last 40 years and build a business that’s fit for purpose for the next 40 years,” he said.

He takes up the CEO role during a challenging time for the retail sector with inflation spiking. Murray said that costs at Frasers Group were “going through the roof”.

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He added: “In terms of the pricing of product, we are very much at the mercy of our brand partners.

“They decide the price they want to sell the goods for and we will increase the prices as and when the brands ask us or recommend us to do so.”

Murray also insisted that there was still life on the high street as Frasers plans to open 10 new flagship stores across the UK, including its new Sports Direct store in Birmingham that opens tomorrow.

The four floor store includes an e-sports arena, alongside USC, Game and Evans Cycles concessions.

Murray said the store cost more than £10 million.

“I believe if you give people a reason to come and shop, they will shop. They’ve just not had a reason for the past few years,” he added.

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  1. I know he’s new in the role , but just to clarify , Suppliers don’t stipulate a price ( against the law in the UK ) and can’t ask a retailer to increase a price. All they can do is provide a RRP or SRP it’s down to the individual retailer to decide and manage its price. So to even suggest this could be the case , then it should be raised with the competition regulator.


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