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 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo shot dead at war memorial
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8's provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...