He had vowed to step down if he did not secure investor backing – and plenty had expected that to be the case today.

But under-pressure Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell has clearly done enough to convince shareholders that he is the right man for the job.

Hellawell, whose re-election was rejected by 54% of independent investors a year ago, received the backing of 53% of them at today’s AGM, despite earlier protests from the Unite workers’ union.

Putting today’s vote aside, Hellawell and Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley still have work to do to appease the remaining disgruntled shareholders and unions, which claim the retailer has broken promises by using zero-hours contracts and failing to make temporary warehouse staff permanent.

Hellawell claims there is no need for an “outside body” to review working practices at the retailer, insists zero-hours contracts are working for its staff and says the review of its corporate governance is “ongoing”.

Today’s vote bought him some time – now he has to make the most of it by backing up those words.  

Elsewhere today, Polish fashion chain Reserved opened its first UK store on the site of the former BHS on Oxford Street, and eBay has launched a dedicated online hub to cash in on the resurgence of physical media.

Quote of the day

“London is an iconic fashion capital and a global city, and is the perfect stage on which to introduce Reserved and LPP to the international shopping community.”

– Marek Piechocki, founder and boss of Reserved owner LPP

Today in numbers


The amount The Hut Group is set to splash out to acquire luxury skincare brand Espa

Tomorrow’s agenda

After the drama of today’s Sports Direct AGM, Dixons Carphone, Carpetright and Conviviality host their respective meetings tomorrow.

Luke Tugby, head of content