Monday 25 November 2019 4:16 pm

Sports Direct to rebrand as Frasers Group as Mike Ashley attempts to elevate image

Sports Direct International has announced it will rebrand as Frasers Group as retail tycoon owner Mike Ashley attempts to improve the company’s image. 

The proposed rebrand, which will be voted on by shareholders on 16 December, follows the announcement that the company is planning to launch a chain of of luxury high street stores named Frasers within the next financial year. 

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The new concept stores will feature beauty, sports and luxury fashion brands.

Ashley, who founded budget sportswear retailer Sports Direct in 1982, has been on an acquisition spree to strengthen his company’s portfolio of high street stores.

He bought beleaguered department store House of Fraser out of administration last year and declared it would be transformed into the “Harrods of the high street”.

However, in Sports Directs delayed full-year results published earlier this year, Ashley said the problems at the department store were “terminal”.

The company has been targeting a higher-end reputation for some time, having taken full control of luxury retailer Flannels in 2017.

Ashley appointed Michael Murray, his future son-in-law, as “head-of-elevation”, as the billionaire retail boss targeted a more high-end reputation.

“Once solely a leading international retailer in sports apparel, the company is now equally as successful in the lifestyle and luxury markets,” Sports Direct said in a statement today. 

“With the enhancement of its retail proposition continuing to be a strategic priority, the proposed change in group name is central to the focused delivery of the company’s elevation strategy.”

Read more: Sports Direct calls for probe into Nike and Adidas

Sports Direct employs approximately 29,400 members of staff across its six business segments. 

More to follow.