Jan 9, 2017
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Flannels owner Sports Direct mulls selling more active brands in move upmarket

Jan 9, 2017

Sports Direct is reportedly mulling the sale of more brands as part of its new strategy to target upmarket shoppers and become the ‘Selfridges of Sports’.

The retailer wants to focus on top selling brands such as Adidas and Nike - Sports Direct

The sale could affect sports brands such as Donnay, Lonsdale and Everlast, and would follow the disposal of Dunlop earlier in January. Sports Direct sold the sportswear brand to Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries for £112m as it said it currently does not have “the bandwidth to develop and manage international brands simultaneously”.

By disposing of further brands, Sports Direct could focus on its core UK businesses, which include Flannels, the luxury and designer fashion chain it acquired in 2012. The sports group has recently invested substantial money to expand the high-end chain, including the acquisition of a property on Oxford Street which is to become the first London branch of the brand.

Sports Direct wants to focus on premium products and become the ‘Selfridges of sports retail’ in the medium-to-long term, it announced last year. It also plans to concentrate on its relationships with top-selling third-party brands such as Adidas and Nike, as selling coveted brands would allow the retailer to compete with rival JD Sports, which attracts shoppers by focusing on sports fashion.

Sports Direct owns 18 sports, fashion and lifestyle brands, including Slazenger, Karrimor and Lillywhites. A person close to the company told The Telegraph that any brand is for sale “at the right price”.

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