Sports Direct is to keep Firetrap as a wholesale brand and not put it into Sports Direct stores, Drapers can reveal.
Mike Ashley, Sports Direct boss, who bought Firetrap parent World Design & Trade out of administration last month, is thought not to want to put the brand into Sports Direct stores, something that indie stockists have feared could happen.
Instead, the brand, along with Full Circle, has been incorporated into Sports Direct’s growing premium lifestyle divison, according to a source close to the business. The premium lifestyle division includes former rival Sir Tom Hunter’s USC and Cruise clothing chains, in which Ashley took a majority stake for £7m last July.
Firetrap and sister brand Full Circle are now trading under the name of Firetrap Limited within this division, according to a document seen by Drapers.
The source said there was no reason other than to keep the brand as it was. “Our stockists have been positive about this. They know the company [Sports Direct] has the Midas touch. USC, for example, is much better run now than it’s ever been,” they added.
The news will come as a relief to young fashion indies, who told Drapers last month they would axe Firetrap if Sports Direct started selling the brand in its stores.
In March, Sports Direct acquired the wholesale division of WDT, owner of young fashion brands Firetrap and Fullcircle,while the retail division was placed into administration, resulting in the closure of six stores and 51 positions being made redundant.