Mike Ashley has reportedly decided to close all of his stores that are located in Intu-owned shopping centres – including Sports Direct and USC – as his dispute with the landlord continues.
It comes after Ashley and Intu failed to agree a deal to keep the House of Fraser stores in Nottingham, Norwich, Lakeside in Essex and the Metrocentre in Gateshead open, as exclusively reported by Drapers earlier this month.
It is understood that Ashley now plans to close all Sports Direct-owned stores in Intu centres, including Sports Direct, Flannels, USC and Evans Cycles – a total of 15 units, The Sunday Times reported.
A spokesperson for Intu confirmed that the stores account for 1% of rentals, generating around £5m annually.
Last week, Intu further extended the deadline in talks to take the company private. The consortium bidding for Intu comprises Intu’s largest shareholder, Peel Group, Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group and Brookfield, a Canadian private equity group.