Sports Direct plans US expansion with Bob’s and Eastern Mountain Sports purchase

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Sports Direct has announced plans to expand into the US with the purchase of the businesses of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports in a $101m deal that will give the UK retailer 50 retail stores in the US.

Sports Direct said the deal will “provide Sports Direct with a footprint in US bricks-and-mortar retail and a platform from which to grow US on-line sales”.

The company operates more than 700 stores in the UK and Europe, but currently relies on the UK for more than three quarters of its total revenues, according to estimates from FactSet.

Bob’s and Eastern Mountain’s previous operator Vestis Retail Group filed for bankruptcy protection last year as a number of US sports retailers struggle with difficult trading conditions and intense competition.

The businesses suffered a pre-tax operating loss of $26m in the financial period to January 28, and had gross assets at that date of $126m. Sports Direct said it expects to complete the acquisition in the first half of next month.

Photo: PA

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