Frasers Group puts Bob's Stores under strategic review as Nike cuts ties

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has announced it will immediately put its subsidiary Bob’s Stores under strategic review after Nike cut ties with the US retail chain.

The company, which acquired Bob’s Stores in 2017, said in a statement Tuesday: “Following recent press reports, Frasers Group confirms that it was yesterday notified that, as of the end of March 2021, Nike will no longer distribute to Bob's Stores, a Frasers Group subsidiary that trades from 24 outlets in the United States. Frasers Group understands that Bob's Stores is one of several US based retailers Nike has cut ties with in recent days.”

It continued: “While Nike's decision does not directly affect the rest of the Frasers Group, Bob's Stores will immediately be put under strategic review.”

Frasers Group, which also owns brands Flannels, Sports Direct, House of Fraser, and Jack Wills, said Bob's Stores does not include any of the “new elevated stores” which are core to the group’s new upmarket strategy.

As part of that strategy, Frasers Group, previously called Sports Direct, has this year bought a 5.1 percent stake in German label Hugo Boss and a 12.5 percent share in luxury British handbag label Mulberry.

Ashley has previously said he wants to transform House of Fraser into the “Harrods of the high street”.

Last week, the group reported a 19.9 percent drop in annual profit despite sales increasing 6.9 percent to 3.96 billion pounds in what it described as “the most challenging year in the history of the company” largely due to Covid-19 and store closures.

The company earlier this week announced it has acquired rival DW Sports out of administration.

Photo credit: Sports Direct media centre


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