Making Brick & Mortar Stores ” matter in a multi-channel world ” | McKinsey

As the role of the brick-and-mortar store evolves, retailers will continually have to refine how they use their real estate…!!

For decades, the retail industry has followed the same straight forward formula for growth: open new stores. By replicating a proven store format in a new catchment area, retailers could reliably enlarge their customer base and count on healthy increases in sales.

But the world has changed. More than half of consumers now research their retail purchases online, making purely in-store purchase decisions the shrinking minority. In many categories, e-commerce has dramatically lessened the need for physical stores. “Virtual space”—which we define as the floor space that would be required to generate the sales volume that online retail now accounts for, at a sales density equivalent to the industry average—is expanding at a staggering rate. In this new world, what is the role of the brick-and-mortar store?

Many retailers find themselves struggling with the question and saddled with more real estate than they know what to do with. After all, their property departments are geared up for expansion and acquisition. Their finance departments have traditionally focused on reaping investment returns from stores and tend to be jittery about investing in new and unproven technologies. On the flip side, their e-commerce directors are frustrated by this lack of understanding of the pace and mind-set such companies need to become digital winners.

To position themselves for success in a multi-channel world, retailers would do well to take a disciplined approach that begins with a reassessment of the role of the physical store. We recommend a FIVE-step approach we call STORE : starting with a clear vision for the future role of the store, tailoring categories and formats accordingly, optimizing the store portfolio using forward-looking analytics, reinventing the in-store shopping experience, and executing systematically across channels…

The incredible shrinking footprint: 

The effects of online migration in the retail industry are evident in every category. In the United States, apparel retailer Gap closed more than 250 stores in 2013; department-store chain Sears closed almost 200. Walmart’s new stores are about a third smaller than they were five years ago…!!

Online retail has affected more than just physical floor space. Amazon, for one, has put intense pressure on retailers’ top and bottom lines by having key items priced 13 to 20 percent lower than average, an assortment 17 times larger than the average retailer’s, and a cost base that is 3 to 4 percent lower than brick-and-mortar competitors’, all while achieving the highest customer-satisfaction scores in the industry. The combined effects of Amazon and other online retailers have rapidly hurt traditional retailers’ return on invested capital, as fewer sales flow through existing physical assets.

Many retailers’ instinctive response to these headwinds has been to close under-performing stores and to look for operational efficiencies, but these moves only buy time—they can’t fully close the performance gap…“Shrinking to greatness” is not the answer.

A framework for change: 

Shifting from a store-focused approach to a multi-channel mind-set requires retailers to change their traditional frames of reference and ways of working. As consumers increasingly shop across channels, terms like “convenience” and “efficiency” take on new meanings. Customer expectations are rising: for instance, customers now expect price consistency across channels, the ability to buy online and pick up or return in store, and a range of payment options. Price transparency puts pressure on retailers to develop ultra-efficient operating models. The wealth of online information available to consumers raises the bar for in-store service and expertise.

But let’s be clear: the brick-and-mortar store is not dead; it just plays a different role now. In fact, in a multi-channel world, physical stores can provide a competitive advantage… Some multi-channel retailers have seen growth in their online sales and penetration among consumers who live near their stores. In several sectors, “click and collect” is proving a popular and increasingly efficient means of serving the customer. More than 50 percent of Walmart’s online sales and around 40 percent of Best Buy’s already are picked up in stores. Best Buy’s store-within-a-store partnerships with Microsoft, Samsung, and other suppliers capitalize on manufacturers’ need to show off their products in a physical retail environment. Former online pure plays such as Oak Furniture Land and sofa.com have opened physical stores that now generate as much as 60 percent of sales.

Some retailers are now reshaping their store networks in response. One approach is to lead with a handful of flagship stores—which essentially become a marketing and service channel for the online business—supported by numerous smaller outlets that offer convenience and a curated product offering.

In light of rapidly evolving technology and consumer behavior, we believe retailers that take a forward-looking view and heed the following five imperatives can position themselves for multi-channel success.

Start by Redefining the role of the store:

The first question that retailers should ask themselves at the beginning of their store-network transformation journey is, “What role will my brick-and-mortar stores play in a multichannel world?” To answer the question, retailers must find out what their customers truly care about. They need to know which aspects of a store matter most to customers and what purpose a store serves for them:

  • Convenience and proximity.
  • Efficiency
  • Inspiration
  • Instant gratification.
  • Discovery of a solution, information, or service.
  • Entertainment and social interaction.
  • Experiencing brands and products.

 

Economic considerations are important as well. For each of the purposes above, retailers should ask, “How can stores do this profitably?” There may be more than one answer and therefore more than one winning store format. In any case, the agreed-upon role (or roles) of the store should dictate every decision about the store operating model: location, assortment, staffing, supplier funding, employee training, and so on.

Tailor categories and formats accordingly:

Customer priorities and store economics should next become critical inputs into ongoing category reviews, to ensure that assortments and space allocations are continually optimized for a multichannel world.

Format decisions should also be driven by customer needs and priorities. Some retailers are adapting their store formats to the tastes and preferences of certain customer segments. Macy’s, for example, has embarked on a major effort to court millennials: it has launched more than a dozen segment-specific brands and created “destination zones” for millennials in its stores.

Optimize the portfolio using forward-looking analytics:

The next step is to re-evaluate the store portfolio through a multichannel lens. Leading retailers regularly analyze correlations between sales performance and catchment data to identify promising locations for new stores and to figure out the winning formula for top-performing stores; they examine factors such as population density, income, competitor presence, and average tenure of the sales staff. This is a valuable exercise, but in a fast-changing business environment, it’s not enough. Retailers must look ahead: they must extrapolate the impact of macro and industry-wide trends on the store network’s economics and operating model. And they must understand the impact that channels have on one another. One retailer that already had 100 unprofitable stores in its network found that another 100 would be in the red within three years given competitor trends and the shift to e-commerce.

The most forward-thinking retailers use analytical tools and techniques to reshape their entire store networks. They use financial and geospatial modeling to highlight not only where stores should be opened but also which should be closed, resized, or reformatted.

Re-invent the in-store shopping experience:

Creating the store of the future will mean overhauling the in-store customer journey, in part by using new technology to make the shopping experience as seamless and easy as possible. Some retailers simply copy the in-store moves of multichannel champions such as Apple and Burberry or equip sales staff with iPads to give their stores an updated, high-tech look. But cosmetic changes alone won’t result in lasting impact. A multichannel mind-set must be embedded in the store design and in employees’ new ways of working.

Retailers should prioritize the basics: again, focusing on what matters most to their customers and enabling multichannel shopping (for instance, by establishing fast-pickup counters for online orders) while being ruthless about taking costs out of the things that customers don’t care about.

Execute systematically across channels:

Change of this scale is not easy and affects many functions across the organization. Some retailers make the mistake of developing a store-network transformation plan that extends past 2020, by which time parts of the plan will probably be obsolete, or else they embark on a massive change program that will take so long to roll out that it will be out of date before it is halfway done. Retailers are typically better served by developing a detailed plan for the next 12 months and a high-level road map for the next three years.

Pace and flexibility are critical. “Gold plating” an entire store takes too long and tends to be expensive. Retailers should instead test new ideas quickly, and they should pilot individual aspects of store design to figure out specifically what is working and what isn’t.

Of course, capabilities and organizational design, both at headquarters and in individual stores, must evolve as the network evolves. Retailers should ask themselves: Does the organizational structure support the new network size and role? What would it take to shift the mind-sets of the property team away from a focus on opening new stores and toward making better use of existing space, introducing and refreshing store concepts quickly, and even scaling back on real estate? the store of the future should allow shoppers to move seamlessly across channels…Store staff should be well trained and comfortable in directing customers to the right products, both offline and online.

The logistics and store teams should work hand in glove with the online team to ensure that orders are fulfilled efficiently and to get products to consumers quickly….!!

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“Indian Consumption Pie”: “Food to stay No.1” item on Family-shopping List | by: Abheek Singhi | Livemint

“Food will remain the Largest Spend Category” even in 2020 with spending of Rs.40 trillion, followed very closely by “Housing & Consumer Durable” with spending of Rs.35 trillion..!!

Most Indians, even those with incomes of $3,000 (around Rs.1.8 lakh) per-annum OR Lower, consume basic products such as cooking oil, bathing soap, washing powder, and tea. But, as they get richer, they start to purchase durable goods, with the typical hierarchy being TV and cooking gas as the top focus..

Ten years ago, Rakesh Sahu, who runs a small restaurant on the outskirts of Lucknow, ate cheap rice, avoiding fruits because of the cost involved. Now, he buys branded refined oil, basmati rice, and eats all the fruits and vegetables he wants because he can afford the extra spending…

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“I don’t think twice before buying good food for my family today”, says Sahu, whose income has increased more than five times in the past 10 years from Rs.90,000 per year to Rs.5 lakh now…!!

He used to get clothes stitched for the family for special occasions earlier. These days, he buys ready-made garments —though he does not spend extra for brand names..

The amount Sahu spends on consumer goods and what he chooses to spend his money on fit into a pattern that has accompanied rising incomes in India. The aggregate consumer expenditure is likely to increase from Rs.45 trillion in 2010 to nearly Rs.150 trillion by 2020—an over-threefold jump in a decade..

Sahu, for instance, does care about brands in the durables space. His television set is an LG, which he bought after watching a programme on a neighbour’s LG. He has moved his son from a government school to the City Montessori School—an English-medium private school. “I want my son to have the best education possible”.

Where once he had no money for “Leisure or Entertainment” (discretionary spending), Sahu now takes his wife out for an occasional movie and even the spot of jewellery shopping…

We analysed consumer spending across different categories and how it is expected to change with rises in income levels and over time. Today, the No.1 item on the family shopping list is food, accounting for nearly one-third of the total consumer spending. Second on consumers’ spending list is housing and household appliances, closely followed by transport and communication..

Interestingly, the spending across different income segments is quite different and has changed with time…!!

To monitor this transition, we use a tool we call consumption curves. This helps us establish how consumers change their spending habits as they earn more. Different types of products have differently shaped curves—and this demonstrates that consumer demand for different products and categories changes at varying rates..

For items such as #Household goods, the consumption curve is an upward line, indicating a steady rise in spending as incomes rise. Other #ConsumerCategories, that rise steadily, if less steeply than Household Goods, are Transport and Communication, as well as #Education..

Expenditure on “Health”, another Major Category, only really starts to rise as people enter the upper-middle OR affluent classes, with only the tail-end of the Consumption curve bending upwards. By contrast, the #ConsumptionCurve, for Food..follows a gentler trajectory, and “actually flattens out as people get richer”… You can only spend so much and consume only so many calories…!!

Exhibit 1: shows the consumption curves for broad categories across different countries for the three different types of curves for Household-goods, #Health-care and Food. We find that the consumer off-take pattern changes with increase in income—even within the same broad category.

Exhibit 2: show the three patterns observed in India. The first type of increase is “inflection point”—observed in the mass #FMCG (fast moving consumer goods),categories such as Tooth-paste—which also have low-cost substitutes such as Tooth-powder..

In this situation, category consumption changes dramatically as the consumer enters the middle class and then remains largely flat…!!

The second pattern is “continuous growth”, which holds true for most durable goods and more premium FMCGs. Here, the consumption increases steadily with increases in income. The third pattern is “stable with income”, observed in highly penetrated FMCG categories such as biscuits and vanaspati..

In this case, the level of penetration is not significantly different across income segments…

Our research indicates that as people enter the #Middle-class, they switch their focus to Consumer-goods that enhance their quality of life Far-beyond subsistence..

Most Indians, even those with incomes of $3,000 (around Rs.1.8 lakh) per annum OR lower, consume basic products such as cooking oil, bathing soap, washing powder, and tea. But, as they get richer, they start to purchase durable goods, with the typical hierarchy being TV and cooking gas as the top focus..

Beyond this, they prioritize goods and services relating to the family, especially children…

We have calculated that 37% of the middle class household’s expenditure is devoted to children, mainly their food and education…One young couple we met in Mumbai, earning about Rs.15,000 per month and living in a one-room chawl, spends nearly Rs.1,000 per month on the school fees for their only daughter. “We want the very best we can afford for her,” they explained…!!

We have estimated how the shape of consumption is likely to change for India in the future, based on the consumption curves from 2010 to 2020…Food will remain the largest spend category even in 2020 with spending of Rs.40 trillion, followed very closely by housing and consumer durable with spending of Rs.35 trillion.

The fastest growing categories are related to “Education, Entertainment & Leisure”, increasing more than FOUR Times in the 10-year period…!!

It seems clear that Both the Size & Shape of Consumption is going to undergo dramatic changes going forward…!!

“Fitness on Demand” : a “service at Gym/Health-clubs” that allow members “24-hour access to High-Quality Fitness-classes” | Club Solutions

Technological advances in the Fitness, Health-Club & Leisure clubs across the landscape is evolving and adopting to the Newer #Innovative developments in this space…

This has to become an imperative integral-part of any existing OR new-developing facilities, that wants to differentiate from their competition and also provide their club-members an flexibility in utilizing the club-services at their convenience and Not being bound by a pre-scheduled time…

With this flexibility on accessing such services at their clubs as and when they find time…they will stick to their Fitness regime and continue to incorporate them into their day-to-day Lifestyle and not find reasons to skip their exercise / fitness regime..which is the core-reason for any Gym OR Health-club existence..!! and when this area of concern is addressed, you could see this directly making a positive impact and add-value to your company’s bottom-line and sustainability…

THE PROBLEM : 

Any full-service 24-hour fitness-center…In a heavily #CompetitiveMarketplace, looking to differentiate its club from the pack…should be able to offer Live #GroupFitness options, early in the morning, but lacked additional options for club-members to make these times…It is essential to offer something that would allow members to have 24-hour access to Quality Group Fitness classes while keeping cost low….that would allow members “ wanted that freeing-option to come in and choose whatever they like”…!!

THE SOLUTION :

Of the several options available in the market that could help vamp up its #FitnessOfferings, to set them apart from competitors…FOD™ seems to out-beat its peers,because it encompasses all the Clubs & Members needs : #Technologyinnovation, #ScheduleFlexibility, and something that could Sell-itself…!! 

THE RESULT :

Having Fitness On Demand™ in a Gym / Health-Club would allow it to differentiate and stay competitive in the fitness-realm… with competitors in their area Not having this technology, “It definitely has its wow factor ”…!!

Fitness On Demand™ also helps sell more memberships…“ It allows them to raise their Ticket-average because they are offering a product like Fitness On Demand™ … it really has become a great sales tool for many Clubs…Fitness On Demand™ offers FREE Marketing-tools, making it easy on Club-owners to keep current-members informed and draw in New-members..

Members now have 24-hour access to top-rated #GroupFitnessClasses…. 55 % of Fitness On Demand™ classes are played during hours that Clubs are un-able to offer ” Live Group Fitness-Classes. This allows them to serve 15-30 more members per day… Members can choose what they want, when they want it…!!

KEY TAKE-AWAYS :

  • Added flexibility and class variety to satisfy members..
  • Added flexible top-rate group fitness classes
  • A sales tool that speaks for itself
  • Available 24 Hours a day
  • Technology innovation is a competitive advantage
  • Supplement live fitness classes to decrease unoccupied studio time

“How Analytics & Big-Data” is “Changing” Soccer,Tennis,Basket-Ball,Golf & any-other “Sport’s performance” | by: Bernard Marr | API

” If there is One Area in which “Analytics & Big-Data” are literally Guaranteed to be Game-changers, it’s Sports…!!

Sports have for a long time been accompanied by a wealth of statistics – what’s different today is the amount of data and the multitude of ways that we have to analyze and interpret that data – and put it to work…

That could be to boost Performance on the Field, Decrease-Injuries and Recovery times, or simply make the game a more entertaining spectacle for the fans…!!

But the volume of data is going through the stratosphere too – every day companies, teams or individuals are coming up with ways to capture more data, and record more information about what’s happening on pitches and fields around the world…!!

This and similar projects mean that most major teams now employ data specialists, dedicated to interpreting the facts and figures and making sure their teams get the most benefit from them..

Athletes can be monitored with sensors tracking every element of their performance from their #HeartRate to their location and their routine saliva tests, and all this data analyzed to provide coaches with clues to help them spot the superstars of the future…!!

The athletes themselves can gain a better understanding of the way their own bodies act under the stress of competition, and use this to fine-tune their own preparations…

The insights will help teams better understand the factors for success and the hurdles that #EliteAthletes, will have to overcome to make it to the top of their game…Daily Workouts,Performance in Competition and Injury-rates (as well as subsequent #Rehabilitation times) can all be ” improved through the intelligence that #BigData provides”….!!

Oakland Athletic’s mission to redefine their game through Stats & #Analytics, is well known thanks to the book and film Moneyball, but that wasn’t the beginning by a long shot..

Decades earlier, in the late 1940s, a retired RAF wing commander began to make notes from his stadium seat as he watched his beloved Swindon Town play a frustratingly bad game of soccer…

What he discovered was that most goals were scored within three touches of the ball… This had not been noticed before. However when he approached the team with his findings, they were not particularly interested…

Convinced that his findings had the potential to improve the game, he approached rivals Bradford Town, who decided to refocus on their long-ball game. That season the team reversed their fortunes and avoided what many had considered an inevitable relegation to the lower leagues…

Today #Big-Data has also found a use in the boardroom politics that are part of every major televised sport in the 21 century…NBA commissioner Adam Silver told a conference that sports analytics had played a big part in ending the lockout which preceded the start of the 2012 season…

After the dispute caused by the ending of the 2005 collective bargaining agreement was settled, Silver told the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference that “ The Analytical People are More Important than the Lawyers ” in resolving the situation…!!

It’s not all about the pros though – amateur sportsmen are starting to find they can save money on personal trainers by taking advantage of the many apps available for #smart-phones designed to #monitor-performance, so it “can be Datafied, Analyzed & Improved “…

The popular #SportsTracker, for example, allows you to monitor your workout and then share that data-online, where it can be compared against that of friends…

Nike’s Golf 360 app is one of the most impressive apps for monitoring personal performance. As well as acting as a trainer with real-time advice you can upload your scores to online leader-boards and compete for the top-positions…

And standalone devices such as the Nike Fuelband, which tracks your movement and converts it into a score, prompting you to set targets and continuously increase your activity levels, are flooding onto the market…

Perhaps the biggest winners, though, are the fans. Games can be scrutinised in greater depth than ever before, thanks to the reams of statistics published on the internet…

IBM’s Slam Tracker provides point-by-point real time analytics of tennis championships, integrated with social media “sentiment” metrics, designed to allow fans to compare how a player’s performance on court is affected by their support off court..

Commentators have reams of statistics with which to entertain the audiences during slow moment, and complementing their professional patter with crowd-sourced opinion from armchair experts on Twitter is becoming standard practice…

At this point, practically no sport remains untouched by the game-changing hand of analytics and big data, and teams or athletes who ignore the advantages it brings are in danger of dropping the ball…

As always, please let me know your views….Do you think Analytics & Big-data are good for Sports ?? OR do you think they take the heart and soul out of it … ?? Please share your thoughts….!! 

“Inside the Club” : The “Importance of Core-Competency” | by: Tyler Montgomery | Club Solutions

At Club Solutions, we’ve been reading the book titled “ Traction : Get a Grip on Your Business ”….!!

In the first four-chapters. it examines #CoreValues, #OperatingSystems and How you EvaluatePeople…What chapter FOUR, teaches is that not everyone is suited for every role in your club….!!

This brings me back to an article I read not too long ago that suggested that Everyone in the Club “should be able to sell” — from Front-desk Attendants to Group X directors..

I believe the Actual point of the article was to say that “everyone should Sell the Club in their Attitude & Position”, but it took more of a literal sales tone…Traction is quick to explain that people have skills, companies have needs and certain roles must be filled….!!

Not everyone will be suited to be a CFO. For example, if I was to be promoted to the CFO of Club Solutions, there is no telling what might happen to the company…Not that I’m extremely horrible at math, but it’s not in my core-competency…!!

Additionally, “we don’t utilize our editorial team to create sales”…..They haven’t been trained to sell, and they don’t spend hours perfecting the ability. Nor do we ask our salespeople to write articles for the magazine — it’s not their Core-competency either…!!

For your company to grow and thrive, it’s vital that you have the right people in the proper seats….Don’t expect your Group X director to sell memberships…

He or she is ” Great at designing Group-X programs” that “make members want to stay and enjoy the club”…Don’t waste time teaching them to #Sell-Memberships and take away from their #CoreCompetency…!!

Additionally, with #FrontDeskStaff, they typically possess an entry-level role in the company…However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have desires or skill-sets…. At the Front-desk they should present the club with the best Foot-forward… But, they shouldn’t be asked to literally sell the club…!!

If you want front-desk staff to grow and excel at your facility, discover what they may want out of the job…Do they want to sell ? That’s a possibility….But, do they want to be a #PersonalTrainer ??  That is also a possibility…In addition, if they transition to the role of personal training, then you can help walk them through the Steps of selling Personal Training, but not typical memberships — that’s a role all in itself…!!

By designing certain roles & expectations from people in those roles, you will build a core group that can help the company succeed…

Remember, you need a Team to Grow — not just a bunch of people scrambling to do a lot of different jobs…!! 

“24 Hour Fitness Acquired” by “AEA Investors,Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan & Fitness Capital Partners” | Business Wire

24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. announced that AEA Investors, a leader in the #PrivateEquity industry ; Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan – and one of the world’s largest ; and Fitness Capital Partners, a fund organized by Dean Bradley Osborne and Global Leisure Partners have completed their #Acquisition of the Company from Forstmann Little & Co…!!

24 Hour Fitness also announced that Mark Smith will join as Chief Executive Officer, and Frank Napolitano has been named President…!!

“ I’m honored and delighted to lead #24HourFitness – which has pioneered so many breakthroughs in the fitness industry – into the Next chapter of the Company’s success,” said Mark Smith. “I’d like to thank former owner Forstmann Little for its strategic guidance of 24 Hour Fitness through a period of solid growth, and former CEO Elizabeth Blair for her execution through the acquisition…

Our new owners are firmly committed to supporting a strong, sustainable future, and I look forward to working with “24 Hour Fitness” executives and team members whom I have come to know as a talented and intensely motivated team”….

Smith and his family will relocate from Australia, and he will take office in July. Until then, the Office of the CEO has been established and will report to the Board of Directors for 24 Hour Fitness….!!

How ever the Terms of the transaction were not disclosed….!!

“Founder of UK Retailer, Sports Direct” in talks to “buy LA Fitness Gyms in UK” | by: Graham Ruddick | Telegraph,UK

“Sports Direct, UK ” could expand into the ” Gym / Fitness Club-chain industry” after opening talks to buy up to 33 gyms from LA Fitness, UK “….The talks represent another surprise move from the founder of the retailer, which has already bought stakes this year in “House of Fraser” and “Debenhams”..

Mr Ashley is in talks to acquire the leases on the LA Fitness gyms after the troubled company was forced to dispose of sites through a company voluntary agreement. It is unclear how Mr Ashley will brand the gyms but it is understood they will be operated by Sports Direct..

It is not unusual for a sports retailer to move into the Gym / Fitness Club-chain industry. Sports Direct’s rival JD Sports opened a gym in Hull earlier this year while Dave Whelan, the founder of JJB Sports, created DW Sports Fitness Clubs.

Sports Direct is likely to use its own sports-wear brands – such as Dunlop, boxing range Everlast, and fitness brand LA Gear – extensively throughout the new gyms.

 

LA Fitness runs 80 fitness clubs, including the 33 earmarked for sale…The company is owned by banks and its management team after being forced to restructure its finances in the face of fierce competition from traditional rivals such as Fitness First and up-and-coming budget chains such as The Gym Group..

Fitness First was rescued through a £550 mil debt-for-equity swap, which saw US hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Marathon Asset Management take control from BC Partners..

Fitness First is understood to have examined the LA Fitness leases that are up for sale but wants to focus on expanding in London. The majority of the 33 sites are outside the M25. They include clubs in Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester..

If Sports Direct secures the deal then it is likely to look for more gyms to acquire. Mr Ashley has offered landlords a guarantee on the lease from Sports Direct, offering security for property companies. Sports Direct declined to comment.

The move into gyms could open a new avenue of growth for Sports Direct. Revenues and profits have been increasingly rapidly in its high street stores following the demise of main rival JJB…Shares in Sports Direct stand at 768p, more than double its float price in 2007.

However, Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, has a tempestuous relationship with the City….Shares in the company have fallen from a record high of 922p, in April after Mr Ashley sold more than £200 mil, of his stake in the retailer..

The share sale came just days after Sports Direct was forced to shelve a £70 mil, bonus for its founder due to opposition from shareholders.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said the company was “extremely disappointed by investors blocking the share award and warned that it could lead to “further uncertainty in the future ”…The company is yet to make public its intentions for the minority interests in “Debenhams” and “House of Fraser”.

Michael Sharp, the chief executive of “Debenhams”, said last month that he is talking to “Sports Direct” about placing its sports brands in “Debenhams” department stores.

“Sport Direct” owns 11 % of “House of Fraser”, with Chinese conglomerate “Sanpower” holding the remaining 89% …!!