Ashley’s Sports Direct plans on Australia launch

Kasmira Jefford
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Sports Direct is set to make its first foray into Australia through a tie-up with MySale after buying a stake in the flash sales site last month.

The sports retail giant, controlled by billionaire tycoon Mike Ashley, plans to open three stores in Australia and one in New Zealand through a joint venture with MySale.

It will also launch two new websites in Australia and New Zealand using its partnership with MySale’s Australian flash sales site, with the launch expected before the end of the year.

The move, announced today, comes after Sports Direct snapped up a 4.8 per cent shareholding in MySale, worth around £15m, when it floated on Aim in June.

The company, which sells clothing and homeware brands at a discount for a short period of time, also caught the attention of Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, who bought a 25 per cent stake ahead of the float.

Sports Direct has been boldly growing its overseas empire by buying stakes in retailers such as Austria’s EAG and Sportland International Group (SIG) in the Baltics last year.

It currently operates in 19 countries in Europe, including France, Belgium, Holland and Portugal.

Partnering with MySale will help Sports Direct gain a foothold in the Australian market which is dominated by Rebel, the country’s sporting and leisure goods retailer with around a quarter of the market.

It is understood that Sports Direct will partner with MySale on shipping back and forth from the UK. The company will also help Sports Direct with marketing in Australia and New Zealand, as well as signposting customers from to Sports Direct’s websites.

MySale, which was founded by British-born Jamie Jackson in Australia in 2007, has more than 10m members in six countries.

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