Analysis: Is Mike Ashley remodelling the economics of the high street?

Mike Ashley

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is one of the retail industry’s great disruptors, but are his hardball tactics for renegotiating rents at his many chains remodelling the economics of high street retail?

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is building an ever-growing empire as he picks up struggling retailers such as House of Fraser and Evans Cycles.

He is using his considerable weight to negotiate savvy property deals as he seeks to build a future for these chains. Rent-free deals, turnover-based rents – Ashley is a shrewd operator.

But is his dealmaking changing the economics of trading on the high street for all retailers? Or have landlords had enough of his hardball tactics? George MacDonald reports.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.