- Sports Direct International set to rebrand as Frasers Group
- Rebranding expected to take place after shareholder meeting on December 16
- The rebrand is part of the company’s “elevation” strategy and follows a spate of retailer acquisitions such as House of Fraser
By guest author Elias Jahshan from Retail Gazette
Sports Direct’s parent company is poised to change its name to Frasers Group to reflect its “changing profile and consumer proposition” as it embarks on an “elevation” strategy.
The rebranding of Sports Direct International is expected to take place after a shareholder meeting on December 16, which was announced today.
Frasers Group is named after Frasers, the upmarket offshoot of House of Fraser – which the Mike Ashley-owned Sports Direct International acquired over a year ago in a £90 million pre-pack administration deal.
The impending rebrand follows months of speculation that Sports Direct was preparing to relaunch a batch of House of Fraser stores as Frasers, as part of Ashley’s ambitions to turn the department store chain into “the Harrods of the high street”.
Currently, the House of Fraser flagship in Glasgow operates under the Frasers name, but a new Wolverhampton store was recently announced as the start of a rollout for the upmarket fascia.
Previous reports have suggested that Sports Direct was eyeing somewhere between 15 to 31 House of Fraser stores that could receive millions of pounds of investment over the next five years in order to relaunch the department store chain and take it upmarket.
Sports Direct said the new Frasers store concept – which is expected to launch next year -would “house the core areas of focus for the wider business – iconic brands, beauty, sports and luxury fashion”.
“The choice of the new brand reflects the elevation strategy encompassing the group as a whole and is therefore a fitting reflection for the company in the future,” Sports Direct said in a statement today.
Once the rebrand takes place, Frasers Group would encompass Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Evans Cycles, Jack Wills, Sofa.com, Game Digital, USC, and Frasers.
In Sports Direct’s last full-year report, its “premium lifestyle” division – mostly luxury Flannels fascia – saw sales surge by 43 % to GBP 162 million.
However, just weeks after the same full year report saw Sports Direct label House of Fraser’s problems as “nothing short of terminal in nature”, creditors extended its administration for a full year.
As a result, further House of Fraser store closures are expected this year.
Meanwhile earlier this month, Sports Direct said it would not acquire any more distressed retailers until politicians introduce better protection for shareholders.