The closures would result in hundreds of job losses with Evans Cycles, which has been running for over 100 years and currently employs 1,300 people across its 62 stores. Ashley said: “In order to save the business, we only believe we will be able to keep 50% of stores open in the future.”
Evans Cycles will become the second retailer rescued by Ashley this year after his firm purchased House of Fraser for £90m shortly after it had entered administration.
James Keany of commercial property firm CBRE, which is advising Sports Direct on Evans Cycles, said: “We are looking forward to working with landlords in order to help create a sustainable business. We will make contact with landlords over the next few days and discuss the future of individual stores.”