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Carl Tallents and Mike Murray

Head of brand, Flannels, and head of elevation, Sports Direct International

When Drapers interviewed Carl Tallents and Mike Murray in March this year, they said they wanted Flannels to be “the biggest global luxury retailer”.

Sports Direct bought out Flannels in 2017, and Tallents became head of brand in June that year. Over the last two years, turnover has doubled, largely driven by new store openings. The group plans 15 to 20 UK stores each year until it reaches 100.

Murray joined the group as head of property in 2015 and took up his current role in January 2018.He is engaged to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s elder daughter, Anna. He and fedora-sporting Tallents picked up the Drapers Award for Best Store Design (<50,000 sq ft) for the store in Newcastle, which opened in May. In September, Flannels’ £10m, 18,000 sq ft store on London’s Oxford Street – its 44th – opened below Sports Direct’s London office. It stocks labels such as Balmain, Burberry, Gucci, Off-White, Versace and Vetements, and has spaces for events such as DJ nights and experiential retail.


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