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Pulp plots growth with Sports Direct’s help

Young fashion retailer Pulp is expected to significantly increase its store portfolio after selling a majority stake to Sports Direct for an undisclosed sum.

Pulp, which has six shops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham, is expected to open tens of new stores following the investment, and will begin scouting for locations in the coming weeks once it has integrated its back-office systems with Sports Direct.

Pulp founder Ian Hopkins said he was currently focused on “the basics”, including integrating the IT and introducing footwear.

“Sports Direct is really very good at what it does from a retail point of view,” he said. “We can get what we need for logistics, buying and back-of-house so we can focus on growing the business.”

Hopkins said he had received a positive reaction from suppliers, although some voiced reservations after past dealings with Sports Direct.

Pulp’s offer includes brands such as Amplified, Iron Fist and Criminal Damage, as well as band merchandise, and Hopkins said it was this combination that had attracted the investor.

“Sports Direct is interested in expanding into fashion but also sees a future in music-inspired clothing,” he added. “Long term we believe artists will begin to create collections of their own.”

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