Sports Direct needs to do a better job of defending itself when faced with controversy and criticism, chief executive Dave Forsey has admitted.
In an interview with Drapers’ sister title Retail Week, Forsey signalled his intention to address the Mike Ashley-owned company’s reputation following public attacks over its use of zero-hours contracts and the treatment of former USC warehouse staff.
Forsey, who is facing criminal charges over his handling of the USC redundancies, said: “The negative media coverage is something we could have done better. We could have spent more time and got our side of the story across, but we are concentrating on the business.
“We do take our responsibilities very seriously. We need to do a better job, myself included, in making sure our story comes across.”
Forsey was unable to comment on the ongoing court case. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He defended Sports Direct’s use of zero-hours contracts, which he argued give much-needed flexibility, but vowed to keep their use “under review”.
The retailer, which has 450 stores, will continue to focus on rolling out larger formats such as on London’s Oxford Street, he added. “It gives the brands a chance to take more space, the likes of Nike and Adidas, and to give a wider choice and proposition to the consumer.”