Sports Direct aims to be Euro champion
Sports Direct will step up its challenge to Decathlon's European dominance when it opens its first Spanish store in April.
The UK's largest sportswear retailer will open in the north-east city of Zaragoza, adding to overseas stores in France, Belgium, Portugal, Holland, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Sports Direct – which the Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley founded from a single shop in Maidenhead in 1982 – has powered through the UK consumer downturn and took 20 stores from failed rival JJB Sports last year.
Mr Ashley, the group's deputy executive chairman, has relentlessly expanded the retailer to 398 UK stores, and has pursued a strategy of buying brands, such as Everlast, Donnay, Karrimor and Lonsdale, which he then licences to other retailers around the world.
Last month, Sports Direct said its strategy "remains to expand our international retail operations into all 17 countries that have adopted the euro currency within five years".
While there is limited overlap of both chains' store estates currently, industry experts believe that Sports Direct and France's Decathlon will battle each other for supremacy over the coming decade in Europe. Decathlon has nearly 550 shops, including 14 in the UK.
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without a written plan
Man soars over Calgary after tying 110 balloons filled with helium to his lawn chair for PR stunt, gets arrested for mischief
Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...