Sports Direct’s founder and executive deputy chairman Mike Ashley has said he cannot guarantee his plans for premium multi-brand chain Flannels will prove a success.
The hope is that Flannels’ premium brands - “like Boss, Armani and Ralph” - will have a halo effect on Sports Direct, boosting the core sportswear business, he explained.
“Sports Direct isn’t just sports equipment, we have to be fashion as well and there is a weakness in that sports fashion offer. Flannels will have a halo effect and help us in that sports fashion area.”
The business opened a new retail and fitness destination in Southport last weekend, housing Sports Direct alongside fashion fascias USC and Flannels.
He added that, if this strategy doesn’t bear fruit within the next three to four years, he will return his focus to the value side of the business.