Brand Max opens first Northern Irish store
Taking over a 22,000-square-foot anchor unit at the Connswater shopping centre in Belfast, it joins 11 other existing stores in Ireland, and three locations in England.
Sports Direct created the new chain in the second half of 2017 as a destination for fashion and homeware bargains. It stocks outlet products from well-known brands including Adidas, Karl Lagerfeld, Lacoste, Ray Ban, Under Armour, Victoria’s Secret and Jaeger.
Most Brand Max stores in Ireland have opened in former Heatons outlets, the Irish department store chain Sports Direct acquired in 2015. The retailer, which once had more than 50 stores in ireland, has seen its store portfolio cut in half, with dozens of stores rebranded as Sports Direct.
Brand Max is Mike Ashley’s attempt to tap into new business opportunities in the off-price market. But in July, US discount chain TK Maxx launched legal proceedings against Brand Max, accusing the brand of trying to confuse the public about its relation to the American brand. Both retailers sell the same kind of items in similarly sized stores.
TK Maxx operates 12 stores in Ireland, and has been trading in the UK and Ireland for more than 20 years.
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