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Exclusive: Sports Direct buys WDT

Sports Direct has snapped up the wholesale division of World Design and Trade (WDT), owners of young fashion brands Firetrap and Full Circle, while the retail arm has been placed into administration.

Speculation had been mounting this week over the potential sale of Firetrap, with Sports Direct and JD Sports Fashion thought to be neck and neck to buy it.

As well as the wholesale division, Sports Direct has bought the brands’ concession and online businesses, but Firetrap’s remaining six stores closed today, after Ernst & Young LLP were appointed administrators of WDT.

WDT said in a statement that “Firetrap and Full Circle have been sold to SDSC Brands Limited, who are not only ambitious and supportive but are committed to the current brand strategy and will ensure the continued growth of the business through their investment in both brands and the team.”

Founder Asbed Momdjian, who has stepped down from the business, added: “A big thank you to everybody who supported the business and me over the years. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented individuals, brave and imaginative retailers and great manufacturers.”

Readers' comments (7)

  • I'd be very surprised if Sports Direct stick to WDT's current brand strategy as it hasn't been proven successful and they will almost certainly devalue Firetrap & Full Circle further (Think of how low Lee Cooper is in the food chain).

    J.D Sports would of been the better option of the two I feel, but Sports Direct obviously came in with a better offer. Goodbye WDT.

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  • What a great shame. One of the great brands of the last 20 years now in the hands of the great brand destroyer.......

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  • Deadly the Gnome! what will happen to the icon?

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  • SAD DAY FOR THE INDUSTRY.
    WE ARE GOING THROUGH SOME REAL TOUGH TIMES.
    THE INDS NEED TO CHANGE BUYING HABITS AND SUPPORT THE BRANDS WITH THE RIGHT DNA/PRODUCT/PRICING--ITS A DEADEND IF CUSTOMERS/BRANDS DO NOT EVOLVE IN FASHION AND TRY NEW COLOURS/STYLES-FABRICS.NO CHANGE IN BUYING HABITS LEADS TO CLOSURES.THERE ARE NOW OPENINGS IN THE MARKET FOR INDS WITH CASH TO GIVE A POINT OF DIFFERENCE THROUGH PRODUCT/PRESENTATION.SADLY ITS NOT ABOUT BUYING WINNERS---THE CONSUMERS ARE MORE SAVVY AND ITS FOR THE BRANDS AND RETAILERS TO GIVE A COMPLETE LOOK...TOPMAN SEEMS TO BE THE MOST INFLUENCIAL RETAILER FOR INSPIRATIONAL FOR HIGH STREET AND BRANDS--REASON AS THEY ARE TRYING DIFFERENT PRODUCTS ALL TIMES.

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  • There is a lesson is this. Brands should give the customers what they want. It sounds simple, but not many do. WDT were no exception.

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  • CERTAIN BRANDS DO GIVE WHAT THE CONSUMER WANTS BUT ITS THE RETAILERS WHO WANT THE TRIED AND TESTED WINNERS.WHICH ARE THE BRANDS LEFT IN THE SAME SECTOR AS WDT,WHO ARE WORKING WELL ???ANY SUGGESTIONS OF BRANDS THAT ARE PROFORMING WELL??

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  • Fred Perry are an obvious example of a brand that are working well and run well. They realized that distribution was the key, thereby getting rid of the substandard accounts, leaving the ones that remained with a clear focused product where good margin is consistently obtainable. Most importantly, they don't go chasing the latest fads. They are what they are, and don't try to be like anyone else with a core range which is largely unchanged for a generation. They tweak things here and there, the odd new line, which is all that is required. This leaves consumer and retailer happy. It's a simple model that few brands achieve or understand.

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