Sports Direct has gained a foothold in the US market by acquiring 50 stores trading as Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports at a cost of $101m, it announced today.
The businesses were acquired through the bankruptcy of Eastern Outfitters which is the parent company of the two brands, which mostly sell sports and casual wear, and outdoor and camping equipment and clothing. Sports Direct received approval from Delaware Bankruptcy Court on 19 April to buy the businesses.
Expected to complete next month the deal would give Mike Ashley’s group a foothold in bricks and mortar retail in the US as well as a digital platform from which to grow US sales.
In the financial year to 28 January 2017, the two businesses posted a pre-tax operating loss of $26m however their assets are valued at $126m.
Ashley has been in acquisitive mood of late. Sports Direct has recently increased its stakes in British high street retailers French Connection and Debenhams and Four Holdings, in which Sports Direct holds a significant stake, recently acquired striken lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.