Sports Direct has expanded its premium and luxury division by snapping up a majority stake in Flannels, an independent retailer which sells designer clothing.

The sportswear giant has acquired a 51% stake in Flannels, which carries brands including Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin. The acquisition was made for an undisclosed sum.

Sports Direct entered the premium fashion world last year when it took majority stakes in USC and Cruise. Flannels will be incorporated into the premium and luxury lifestyle division which Sports Direct set up when it made the acquisitions last year.

Flannels has six UK stores. It reported a pre-tax loss of £256,000 in the year to March 31, 2011. Flannels founder Neil Prosser retains a 49% stake in the business and will remain as managing director.

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey said: “Flannels is a fantastic business and a perfect fit alongside Cruise and Van Mildert within our Premium Lifestyle division.  We look forward to working with Neil and his team to build an even stronger business over the coming years.”

Sports Direct unveils its preliminary results next Thursday.