|Traded as||LSE: SPD|
|Headquarters||Shirebrook, Derbyshire, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Keith Hellawell (Chairman)
Mike Ashley (Founder and Deputy Executive Chairman)
Dave Forsey (chief executive)
|Revenue||£2,186 million (2013)|
|Operating income||£207.2 million (2013)|
|Profit||£105.6 million (2012)|
Sports Direct International plc is a British retailing group. Founded in 1982 by Mike Ashley, the company is the UK's largest sporting retailer, and operates over 500 stores worldwide. Mostly operating under the SportsDirect.com brand, the company also operates Republic, Field and Trek and Lillywhites.
The company was founded by Mike Ashley in 1982 as a single store in Maidenhead trading under the name of Mike Ashley Sports. In 1984, Preston Sports shop was opened in London and by 1992 the Company had 12 stores. 1995/96 saw the stores change to Sports Soccer along with the re-location of head office and warehouse to a 100,000 sq. foot unit in Dunstable. The number of retail stores had now increased to 50, along with the acquisition of the Donnay tennis and golf brand. Ashley incorporated the business in 1999.
By the year 2000 the business had 80 stores and had formed a joint venture in Belgium with 22 stores trading as Disport. The Lillywhites chain of 10 stores and the Lonsdale Brand were acquired in 2002 and by 2003 the number of retail stores had increased to 150. In 2005 the Company began a major re brand of the stores, changing the fascias to Sports World.
In February 2004 the company acquired Dunlop Slazenger for "at least" £40 million, which included the Dunlop, Slazenger and Carlton brands. This was followed by the acquisitions of outdoor gear manufacturer Karrimor in March for a reported £5 million. In 2006 he acquired Kangol for an estimated £12 million. Most of these brands were bought from distressed sellers. After looking at a takeover, Sports Direct took a £9 million stake and signed a lucrative long-term deal in August 2005 with troubled brand Umbro, which was subsequently sold to Nike.
The brands themselves are an increasingly important part of the business, and Sports Direct made £10m from selling the intellectual-property rights to the Slazenger Golf brand to archrival JJB in 2005.
In May 2007 it was also revealed that Ashley had held talks with John Hargreaves, founder of Matalan on both taking a 25% stake in the troubled retail business and installing mezzanine floors in larger Matalan stores, on which SportsDirect.com outlets could be operated.
In June 2007 the company acquired Everlast for £84 million.
In late November 2006, a number of business newspapers reported that Ashley was looking at an IPO of Sports World International. He hired Merrill Lynch, who valued the group at up to £2.5bn ahead of a possible flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The group debuted on the LSE on 27 February 2007.
In July 2008 it was disclosed that Sports Direct also held a 12.3% holding in the John David Group, parent of JD Sports. The stake is currently 11.9% of JD SPorts as of November 2013. Sports Direct formerly held 5% of Amer Sports. "[Ashley] likes to park his tanks on peoples' lawns," said a banker.
In February 2013 after fashion retailer Republic went into administration, Sports Direct bought 116 Republic stores, the brand name and the company's head office from the administrator for an undisclosed sum.
In July 2013, more than 2,000 full-time staff were awarded around £70,000 each under the company's bonus share scheme. It was also revealed that around 90% of the company's employees are employed on zero-hours contracts.
The group has over 470 UK stores including the chains SportsDirect.com (Sports World prior to 2008), Lillywhites, Field & Trek and Republic. The group employs around 11,000 people in the UK and at stores in Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Portugal. Sports Direct-branded stores exist under a franchising agreement in South Africa and the Middle East. In 2006 it overtook JJB Sports as the UK's largest sportswear retailer. It was announced on 1 October 2012 that Sports Direct had purchased rival retailer JJB's brand name, website, 20 stores and all of their stock in a deal for approximately £24m. The deal saved around 550 jobs.
The Sports Direct chain is a low prices, low margin business.
- Field & Trek
- SportsDirect.com - internet and high street retail.
- USC (clothing retailer)
- Bike Clearance
- Gilesports - merged into SportsDirect.com
- Hargreaves Sports - merged into SportsDirect.com
- Original Shoe Company - sold to JJB Sports in December 2007.
- Streetwise Sports - merged into SportsDirect.com
- Sports Soccer - merged into SportsDirect.com
- Sports World - merged into SportsDirect.com
- JJB Sports
- Umbro - sold to Nike in 2007.
Clothing and equipment
- Hot Tuna
- Lee Cooper
- Miss Fiori
- No Fear (outside North America)
- Oppisite (Coming soon)
- Voodoo Dolls
- "Preliminary Results 2012". Sports Direct International. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Finch, Julia (28 February 2007). "Flotation makes Sports Direct founder a billionaire". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Sports Direct International | History
- "Revealed UK's first sports kit billionaire". The Times (London). 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- Revealed: UK’s first sports kit billionaire The Times, 9 April 2006
- Osborne, Alistair (February 5, 2004). "Game, set and match for Dunlop Slazenger". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
- Ashley slips Karrimor brand in his rucksack - Telegraph
- Sports World owner sees right fit for Kangol hats | The Times
- Kollewe, Julia (2005-08-08). "Sports World tycoon mulls bid for Umbro". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "Sports World tycoon mulls bid for Umbro". London: The Independent. 2005-07-17. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Fletcher, Richard (2006-05-21). "Billionaire sports tycoon plots move into Matalan". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- Davey, Jenny (2006-12-10). "Ashley empire may be worth 25bn". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- UK Retail News
- Sports tycoon eyes £2.5bn IPO
- "Sports Direct: timeline". London: Guardian Unlimited. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Annual Report 2008[dead link]
- Robinson, Gwen (24 January 2008). "Sports Direct’s Ashley rebuilds Amer stake". Financial Times. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- "Republic fashion chain bought by Sports Direct". BBC News. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- 2,000 Sports Direct staff to receive £100,000 bonus after record profits | Business | The Guardian
- Seawright, Stephen (April 6, 2006). "Sports World International sales climb 45pc and knock JJB off top spot". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
- "The JJB stores Sports Direct has bought". Daily Telegraph UK. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Sports Direct thrashes out deal to buy 60 JJB Sports stores". Guardian UK. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Sold JJB Sports stores inundated with shoppers". BBC News. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "2,200 jobs go in JJB Sports deal". The Independent. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- BBC News - How Sports Direct beat the opposition
- "JJB Sports buys Original Shoe Company from Sports Direct for 5 mln stg". AFX News (Hemscott). 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-27.