Retail billionaire Mike Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct, has demanded new rent deals are tied to sales across his store empire that now includes HoF and Jack Wills as well as Sports Direct and Flannels.
In the same week as Mothercare threw in the towel with its UK stores, rival mother and baby products chain Mamas & Papas has opted for a pre-pack administration with its existing owner back in control.
Sports Direct's latest acquisition is a retail park in Hertfordshire that it bought for a third of the price paid by its previous owners. The company said it's planning to transform it into an aspirational destination.
The crisis on the UK’s high streets is accelerating with the number of shops that are empty (as well as pubs and restaurants that also help attract shoppers to an area) rising faster than it has for around a decade.
Buying House of Fraser and ultimately loss-making stakes in firms like Debenhams and MySale may have been a chastening experience for Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, but it hasn't stopped him from looking for more buys.
Bidding for Jack Wills is getting under way with reports saying six interested parties are in the race. They’re said to include the UK’s two most acquisitive retail tycoons, Mike Ashley and Philip Day.