• Almost a quarter of Sports Direct’s salaried staff left the business last year
  • The 22% churn of employees is almost three times the average of 8%
  • Figures were revealed in retailer’s annual report


Almost one in four workers quit Sports Direct last year as pressure mounts on founder Mike Ashley to overhaul working conditions.

The embattled retailer replaced 22% of its salaried employees during its financial year to April 24, according to its annual report.

That figure, which includes store managers and senior bosses employed at its headquarters, represents an increase of 3.3 percentage points on the previous year and is almost three times the average churn for a British business.

Sports Direct said in its annual report: “Store manager stability with Sports Direct is currently sitting at 80.4%, this is a decrease of 12 [percentage points] on the [2015 full year] figure.

“Assistant manager and footwear manager stability currently sit at 79.8% and 83.5% respectively, which is a decrease of six [percentage points] and seven [percentage points] across the positions.”

It comes after working conditions at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse were slammed by MPs, who likened them to “a Victorian workhouse”.

The Business Innovation and Skills Committee said the retailer treated workers “without dignity or respect” and used “appalling working practices”, including a ‘six strikes and you’re out’ policy.

Ashley gave evidence to the committee back in June, when he admitted Sports Direct had effectively paid staff working in Shirebrook less than the national living wage.

HM Revenue & Customs is now investigating Sports Direct for breaching the wage law, although the retailer has handed staff a pay rise, at a cost of £10m.