Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s ever-expanding portfolio of businesses captured 3.2% of all UK non-food retail spend in 2018, new research has shown.
A GlobalData report looked at the businesses Ashley wholly owns or has a significant stake in, and calculated their share of the UK’s non-food retail market.
As well as Sports Direct, Ashley owns House of Fraser, Evans Cycles, USC, Flannels, Cruise and Van Mildert, and has a 27% stake in French Connection, a 30% holding in Debenhams and a 26% share of Game.
He is currently in talks to acquire HMV and Patisserie Valerie out of administration.
Sofie Willmott, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Mike Ashley has had a significant impact on the UK retail market in the past year, buying failing brands at a low price and aiming to turn their fortunes around.
“Given the well-known yet unrelated retailers that Ashley’s Sports Direct has purchased, it is unclear exactly what his long-term strategy is, but his growing group of brands will enable him to achieve economies of scale in terms of the supply chain, giving him greater buying power which will improve gross margins.”