In numbers: How Mike Ashley took over the high street

Mike Ashley collage

The number of retailers that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has acquired or invested in has surged 52.5% since 2015.

The number of retailers that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has acquired or invested in has surged 52.5% since 2015.

The notorious retail founder may have been edged out of running Debenhams by the department store’s lenders and lost out on snapping up chains such as HMV, but these setbacks have not stopped him from amassing a hefty portion of the UK retail sector in recent years.

According to data from the Local Data Company, shared exclusively with Retail Week, the portfolio of stores that Ashley either owns outright or has invested in has climbed 52.5% in the last four years, from 651 outlets in 2015 to 993 by March 2019 – and was up 77.3% prior to Debenhams falling into administration last month.

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