Sports Direct International has struck a deal with apparel retailer ITAT Group in China to supply some of its portfolio of brands to ITAT’s larger stores.

ITAT is the largest network of multi-brand apparel retail stores in China, operating a network of more than 700 stores in 275 cities. Sports Direct will supply its Super Club stores, using a store-in-store concept with an initial selling area of about (2,690 sq ft) 250 sq m per store. ITAT has about 120 Super Club stores.

The store-in-stores will be staffed by ITAT employees and Sports Direct will receive a proportion of the revenues generated. Sports Direct expects to make a total investment of up to£20 million between now and April 2009, to fund fit-out, working capital and related costs.

Sports Direct chief executive officer Dave Forsey said: “We are delighted to be announcing our agreement to work with ITAT in China. The alliance offers us an ideal opportunity to access ITAT’s fast-growing store network and, through it, to be able to offer our brands to the Chinese consumer.”

International distribution is an increasing part of Sports Direct’s growth strategy. China is one of the world’s largest consumer markets, with a population of approximately 1.3 billion.