Sports Direct Buys Another Bankrupt High Street Brand

By Gary Cutlack on at

High street fashion chain Jack Wills is about to be ordered to start selling sparkly Puma trainers and t-shirts that say KARRIMOR on them, as it's the latest UK chain to be assimilated by unstoppable retail borg Mike Ashley and his Sports Direct force.

As is his baffling way, Ashley has bought a broken Jack Wills from its administrators for a hefty discount, paying just £12.75m for the group's 100 physical branches, all of its stock of t-shirts that have things like "1985" printed on them, and the massive going-forwards liability that is approximately 1,700 staff members; who are now all waiting to be told if they're sacked or not and if their branches are getting the chop as Ashley goes through the list with a red pen.

It is another odd move for Ashley, as you'd think he might want to start buying successful businesses rather than disasters that are provably losing money. Sports Direct recently warned that the purchase of loss-making department chain House of Fraser seems to have put the empire into a bit of a death spin, with Sports Direct's recent results throwing doubt on if HoF may be considered a "viable ongoing entity" or not. [Guardian]