Sports Direct buys Firetrap and FullCircle
Only a few weeks after its competitor JD Sports announced the acquisition of outdoor goods retailer Blacks, Sports Direct is now also making headlines this year. According to Retail Week, the British retailer has just purchased World Design and Trade’s wholesale division, which includes concessions and brands acquired by the group, such as FullCircle and Firetrap. WDT’s retail business has been placed into administration with Ernst & Young and its future is now in the hands of the accounting firm’s administrators Angela Swarbrick and Maurice Moses.
At the end of August 2011, Sports Direct operated more than 500 stores in Europe, of which 400 were in the UK, and registered a turnover of 1.6 billion pounds. The sports giant has a large portfolio of brands including Dunlop, Kangol, Karrimor, Lonsdale and No Fear.
For Atlantic Diffusion, Firetrap’s distributor in the French market, the acquisition by Sports Direct should not make anyone doubt Firetrap's development in France. “Firetrap’s owner, Asbed Momdjian, must have wanted to step down after being at the head of the company for more than 25 years. But since Sports Direct is going to maintain the same structure, nothing is going to change for the export market. The brands are very different from those in Sports Direct’s portfolio, very sporty. They are going to keep the London location and teams will keep their autonomy. Perhaps this acquisition by such a huge retailer might even encourage the brand's international development.”
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