Sports Direct’s confirmation that it’s set to acquire Eastern Outfitters is the opening chapter of an adventure that Mike Ashley is keen to embark on.

Ashley has spent the past few months propping up the American sports and outdoor retailer before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

He intended to act as its ‘stalking horse’ – a bidder given the first chance to make an offer to set the minimum price for others – but agreed a purchase instead after other creditors objected.

Now, Sports Direct is set to own 50 of its 90 stores – hardly a major presence in terms of the giants of US retail. But this move does give Sports Direct a long-sought US platform.

The retailer has long been keen to enter the American market. Last year, Ashley was at the helm of a failed bid to buy the intellectual property of Sports Authority.

In just a few weeks, he’ll have his happy beginning.

Also today, quarterly retail sales dropped for the first time since 2013 in the three months to March and Polish footwear retailer Rylko is readying its UK launch.

Quote of the day

“Within days I turned from the perfect optimist to a glum pessimist. Suddenly I was spending every waking moment turning problems over in my mind.”

John Timpson on stress

Today in numbers


The fall in retail sales for the three months to March


The number of Eastern Outfitters stores that Sports Direct is set to acquire

Tomorrow’s agenda

Given that it’s the weekend, there are no updates to look out for – happy trading!

Becky Waller-Davies, fashion reporter