High Street

Sports Direct is not a business ‘in crisis’, claims exec

Sports Direct’s head of elevation, Michael Murray, has moved to quash rumours that Sports Direct was in “crisis” in an interview with Sky News, following the purchase of Jack Wills.

The retail group posted a profit drop of 9% last year following the acquisition of House of Fraser, which owner Mike Ashley said had “terminal problems”.

Sports Direct has also announced plans to convert retailer Jack Wills into a sports and fashion brand. The brand will form part of a new division focused on buying and building sports and fashion brands, and will report to Murray.

Sports Direct also plans to work alongside landlords to reduce rents to “keep as many stores trading as possible”. Jack Wills currently has 100 stores in the UK and Ireland employing around 1,800 employees.

Murray said: “Jack Wills has made a name for itself carving out a unique place in the minds of consumers since its launch and has today grown into one of the most recognised British fashion brands. Having taken a personal role in driving the decision to bid for this business, I am absolutely thrilled that Sports Direct was successful.

“Jack Wills will continue to operate as a separate company with its own leadership team. Our role will be to support the business and help elevate the brand and help restore it to its former glory. We are absolutely delighted that we have secured this acquisition as it is an incredible opportunity to work and grow this fantastic British brand.”

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