Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has secured a 60 per cent stake in
the Field & Trek business. Sports Direct has invested £5
million in the company, which operates 11 stores and a home
shopping division, has an option for five years to acquire the
remaining 40 per cent of the business.
Richard Gundle, Field & Trek’s managing director, stated, “This investment allows the business to move forward with a partner who has the financial backing and retail experience to ensure that Field & Trek can fulfil its potential in the outdoor market”. Gundle will remain managing director. Sports Direct group finance direct Bob Mellor and chief executive Dave Forsey have joined the Field & Trek board.
Gundle told Catalogue/e-business that the primary focus for Field & Trek’s home shopping group will be to ensure adequate stock levels. In the past the outdoor gear merchant lost a significant amount of sales because it was unable to hold enough stock. The business will also look to roll out more stores in the near future.
Peter Higgins, who has been advising Field & Trek for three years, said, “When I first met Richard we set out to do two things: clearly differentiate Field & Trek from its competitors by making it a true multichannel retailer and sell it. Its award-winning website is testament to the first part of the strategy, and this takeover completes the three-year plan”.
In addition to the flagship brand, Sports Direct owns 29.3 percent of Blacks Leisure Group. Company owner Ashley also owns football club Newcastle United.