Sports Direct to change name to Frasers
In a move that shouldn't really come as a surprise given the direction the company has been going in, Sports Direct on Monday announced that it would rebrand itself as Frasers Group.
The retail giant owns House of Fraser and is forging ahead with its plan to create a mini chain of high-end Frasers department stores and the company seems to think that the name change of the entire business will boost its overall image.
The name change isn't a done deal yet, as it will be voted on by shareholders in mid-December. But given the control that Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has via his ownership of the largest chunk of the firm’s shares, it's a move that’s unlikely to be vetoed.
The name change will also be a sign that Ashley's plan for the Frasers chain is coming closer to fruition and the first Frasers store is expected to launch next year.
Sports Direct was founded in 1982 and helped to turn Ashley into a billionaire, although in recent years the company has suffered from major image problems and criticism over the treatment of its staff.
Ashley’s buying spree that saw him taking over a number of distressed businesses, the most prominent of which was House of Fraser, didn't help the company image, especially with profits coming under pressure. But with the Frasers plan taking shape it had seemed likely that a name change might be thought about.
“Once solely a leading international retailer in sports apparel, the company is now equally as successful in the lifestyle and luxury markets,” Sports Direct said in a statement.
“With the enhancement of its retail proposition continuing to be a strategic priority, the proposed change in group name is central to the focused delivery of the company’s elevation strategy.”
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