Ashley has featured heavily in the media since the beginning of 2015 due to his endeavours in the retail industry. This included him considering an acquisition of House of Fraser and agreeing to a put-option deal with Goldman Sachs over a 10.5 per cent stake in Debenhams, as well as buying fashion brands Republic, USC, Flannels and Cruise. He has also been scrutinised for allegedly being responsible for one fifth of all zero-hours contracts. The Sports Direct founder has now strayed outside the sports and fashion sectors and, under the name “Mega Value”, is trading in Kidderminster, Worcestershire. The branding for the discount store is set to be of the same colour and font as Ashley’s £4bn Sports Direct empire. According to the “Daily Mail“, the store has been dubbed as the “Son of Woolworths”. It also pointed out that the Mega Value store launch coincides with the Woolworths website being “up for grabs” in a month. Read more about Sports Direct:
“That people in the industry are calling it the ‘Son of Woolworths’ and the fact that it is launching virtually on the day the Woolworths site has closed will not be lost on people,” said a news source cited by the “Retail Gazette“. Some have speculated that Ashley wants to create the next Woolworths, as his store will sell kids toys, music, home furnishings, garden tools, small electrical items, crafts, health, beauty and outdoor goods. The store is also located opposite a vacant Woolworths store. Mega Value, according to its website, promises to “beat anyone’s price”. A source said: “It is very similar to a B&M or Wilko store. It will be interesting to see how this venture fares as there are a lot of empty shops about where you could quite easily slot one of these.” By Shané Schutte
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