Sports Direct International plc is a British retailing group. Established in 1982 by Mike Ashley, the company is the United Kingdom's largest sports-goods retailer and operates 670 stores worldwide; the company owns a large number of sporting brands and trades predominantly under the SportsDirect.com brand. Other retailers owned by the company include House of Flannels, USC and Lillywhites; the company operates under low margins. Sporting and fashion brands owned include Donnay, Firetrap, Kangol and Lonsdale, among others. Mike Ashley has continued to hold a majority stake in the business, his holding has been 61.7 percent since October 2013. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index; the company was founded by Mike Ashley in 1982 as a single store in Maidenhead trading under the name of Mike Ashley Sports. In 1984, Preston Sports shop was opened in London and by 1992 the company had 12 stores. 1995/96 saw the stores change to Sports Soccer along with the re-location of head office and warehouse to a 100,000 sq. foot unit in Dunstable.
The number of retail stores had now increased to 50, along with the acquisition of the Donnay tennis and golf brand. Ashley incorporated the business in 1999. By 2000, the business had 80 stores, had formed a joint venture in Belgium, with 22 stores trading as Disport; the Lillywhites chain of 10 stores and the Lonsdale brand were acquired in 2002 and by 2003, the number of retail stores had increased to 150. In 2005 the company began a major rebrand of the stores. In late November 2006, a number of business newspapers reported that Ashley was looking at an IPO of Sports World International, he hired Merrill Lynch, who valued the group at up to £2.5bn ahead of a possible flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The group debuted on the exchange on 27 February 2007. In December 2006, it was revealed that Sports Direct had built up a 29.4% stake in Blacks Leisure Group, the owner of Millets. In May 2007, it was revealed that Ashley had held talks with John Hargreaves, founder of Matalan on both taking a 25% stake in the troubled retail business and installing mezzanine floors in larger Matalan stores, on which SportsDirect.com outlets could be operated.
In June 2007, the company acquired Everlast for £84 million. In July 2008, it was disclosed that Sports Direct held a 12.3% holding in the John David Group, parent of JD Sports. The stake is 11.9% of JD Sports as of November 2013. Sports Direct held 5% of Amer Sports, it was announced on 1 October 2012, that Sports Direct had purchased rival retailer JJB's brand name, website, 20 stores and all of their stock in a deal for £24m. The deal saved around 550 jobs. In February 2013, after fashion retailer Republic went into administration, Sports Direct bought 116 Republic stores, the brand name and the company's head office from the administrator for an undisclosed sum. In July 2013, more than 2,000 full-time staff were awarded around £70,000 each under the company's bonus share scheme. On 13 January 2014, Sports Direct bought 4.6% of Debenhams shares. The stock market purchase of 56.8 million shares was made without the prior knowledge of the Debenhams board. Sports Direct stated at the time; the Debenhams board responded by stating they were open-minded with regard to exploring operational opportunities to improve its performance.
Sports Direct sold its shares on 16 January 2014, although they took out an option to buy further shares up to a total of 6.6%. In December 2016, Sports Direct agreed to sell the remaining international rights to its Dunlop brand to Sumitomo Rubber Industries for £112 million. Sumitomo own the rights to the brand in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan; the sale is due to be completed by May 2017. In July 2017, the company acquired a 26% stake in Game Digital. In July 2013, it was revealed that around 90% of the company's employees are employed on zero-hours contracts, an issue that some of their current and former employees have taken the company to court over. From January 2013 to December 2014, 76 ambulances or paramedic cars were sent to the postcode for Sports Direct's distribution centre, according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC; the ambulance service received three calls about women experiencing pregnancy difficulties, including one who gave birth in the site's toilets. A Channel 4 Dispatches documentary branded Sports Direct a'sweatshop' with working conditions compared to the Victorian era and bosses were accused of punishing employees if they talk.
Labour MP John Mann claimed English speakers were snubbed for positions with the chain despite 3,000 people working there. He said,'British workers living in his constituency near Sports Direct's 800,000 square foot Shirebrook warehouse were snubbed for jobs at the Derbyshire site'; the warehouse is called the'gulag' among local residents. In October 2015, the chief executive of Sports Direct, David Forsey, was charged with a criminal offence for consultation failures over USC staff who only had 15 minutes notice of redundancy. In December 2015, an investigation by The Guardian found that the company fines staff for late clocking on, does not award overtime for late clocking off, relies on zero hour contracts, makes staff wait unpaid for a security check at the end of shifts. A union official suggested that these practices were illegal as they brought workers' earnings below the minimum wage; the company responded by saying. A representative from the charity ShareAction claimed that workers are "jeopardising their health" for fear of being dismissed while another shareholder said the company's repu
Fashion is a popular style in clothing, lifestyle, makeup and body. Fashion is a distinctive and constant trend in the style in which people present themselves. A fashion can become the prevailing style in behaviour or manifest the newest creations of designers, technologists and design managers; because the more technical term costume is linked to the term "fashion", the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear, while the word "fashion" refers to clothing, including the study of clothing. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous. High-flying trendsetters in fashion can aspire to the label haute couture. Early Western travelers, traveling whether to India, Turkey or China, would remark on the absence of change in fashion in those countries; the Japanese shōgun's secretary bragged to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However, there is considerable evidence in Ming China of changing fashions in Chinese clothing.
Changes in costume took place at times of economic or social change, as occurred in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate, followed by a long period without major changes. In 8th-century Moorish Spain, the musician Ziryab introduced to Córdoba sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashions from his native Baghdad, modified by his own inspiration. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the 11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks, who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East. Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people; the beginning in Europe of continual and rapid change in clothing styles can be reliably dated.
Historians, including James Laver and Fernand Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century, though they tend to rely on contemporary imagery and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the fourteenth century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger; this created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over trousers. The pace of change accelerated in the following century, women and men's fashion in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images to within five years in the case of images from the 15th century. Changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had been a similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles.
These national styles remained different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion. In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century; the "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century. Though different textile colors and patterns changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady's dress was cut, changed more slowly.
Men's fashions were derived from military models, changes in a European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie. Though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France since the 16th century and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion in the 1620s, the pace of change picked up in the 1780s with increased publication of French engravings illustrating the latest Paris styles. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike. Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, the textile industry led many trends, the history of fashion design is understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris; the Haute house was the name established by government for the fashion houses that met the standards of industry. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Gelert is a British camping and outdoor clothing importer founded in Gwynedd, North Wales. Since 2013, it has been owned by Sports Direct International; the company is named after the dog Gelert of Prince Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd. It started in Bryncir in Gwynedd in 1970. In 2003 it announced plans for a £4.5 million expansion to its Porthmadog base, which opened in 2004. It has the exclusive licence to the QuickPitch tent designed by Bournemouth University graduate Franziska Conrad. In 2012 the company closed its Porthmadog headquarters. In June 2013 the company went into administration and was taken over by Sports Direct International PLC; the products it sells are: Tents Sleeping bags Rucksacks Walking equipment Outdoor cooking equipment Torches and camping lights Outdoor clothing and walking boots Equestrian clothing Fishing clothing Workwear Pet equipment and some pet food Gelert Gelert YouTube channel
Mike Ashley (businessman)
Michael James Wallace Ashley is a British billionaire retail entrepreneur in the sporting goods market. He entered the department store industry following the acquisition of House of Fraser following administration in 2018, he is the owner of Newcastle United after paying around £135 million to buy the club. Ranked 15th in the 2012 version of Forbes magazine with estimated wealth of £1.5 billion, Ashley was seen as an intensely private person, who never attended industry functions or gave interviews. Philip Beresford, who compiles the annual Sunday Times list, said neither he nor his staff have managed to contact Ashley, in 2006 described him as "easily Britain's answer to the late Howard Hughes". Since Sports Direct International Plc went public, his purchase of Newcastle United where he took to sitting in the stands with fans, Ashley took on a more public and accessible persona. However, after the departure of Kevin Keegan as manager and the club's relegation, he has only made low key appearances when attending Newcastle matches.
After leaving school at 16, he was a county level squash player. But after injury, he became a county-level squash coach. In 1982, Ashley opened his first sport and ski shop in Maidenhead followed by others in and around London, starting with a £10,000 loan from his family; the chain expanded funded by private money, by the late 1990s had rebranded the chain as Sports Soccer and opened over 100 stores across the United Kingdom. As a sole trader and not having to file accounts at Companies House, little was known about him; the business became a limited liability company in 1999. At present Derbyshire based group Sports Direct International Plc, with headquarters in Shirebrook, has over 400 UK stores including the chains Sports World and Gilesports; the group employs more than 20,000 people in the UK and at stores in Ireland and Slovenia. In 2006, it overtook JJB Sports as the UK's largest sportswear retailer. In mid-2006, it was revealed that Ashley had held talks with John Hargreaves, founder of Matalan on both taking a 25% stake in the retail business and installing mezzanine floors in larger Matalan stores, on which Sports World outlets could be operated.
Ashley has made his money by buying brands. The first major brand he bought was Donnay. In February 2003, Ashley bought the Dunlop Slazenger brand for £40 million, followed up by acquiring outdoor gear manufacturer Karrimor in March 2003, Kangol for £10 million, boxing brand Lonsdale, most of these brands were bought from distressed sellers. After considering a takeover, Ashley signed a long-term deal with Umbro. Ashley has a 29.4% stake in Blacks Leisure Group, the owner of Millets and Mambo, is thought to hold stakes in JJB Sports and 19% of JD Sports. "He likes to park his tanks on peoples' lawns", said one banker. In late November 2006, a number of business newspapers reported that Ashley was looking at an IPO of Sports World International, he hired Merrill Lynch, who valued the group at up to £2.5bn ahead of the flotation on the London Stock Exchange. On 31 January 2010, the BBC North East and Cumbria produced a 30-minute documentary detailing Mike Ashley's business successes and lows. Journalist Chris Jackson travelled to Thailand to visit the factories in which Ashley's material for his brand of Lonsdale is made.
Neither Ashley or his representatives showed interest in taking part in the film, declaring that the film was producing a majority of inaccuracies. They did, state that they would be reviewing the film closely. No further comment has been made. On 26 July 2017, Mr Justice Leggatt ruled that Ashley won a high court battle over investment banker Jeffrey Blue's allegation that during a'night of heavy drinking' at the Horse and Groom pub in London, Ashley agreed to pay Blue £15 million if Sport Direct's shares doubled to £8. Mr Justice Leggatt ruled. Ashley turned whistleblower on industry rivals in 2000, handing the Office of Fair Trading evidence of business meetings held by sports retailers to fix the price of football shirts. Ashley attended a meeting at the Cheshire home of David Hughes, the chairman of now bankrupt rival Allsports. At the meeting Dave Whelan, the founder of JJB Sports told Ashley: "There's a club in the north and you're not part of it." On 23 May 2007, in a surprise move, Ashley bought Sir John Hall's 41.6% stake in Newcastle United at one pound per share, for a total cost of £55,342,223 via his company St James Holdings Ltd.
Under the terms of UK takeover law, having purchased more than 30% of a listed company, he was obliged to make an offer to buy the remaining shares at the same or a greater price. On 31 May, it was reported. On 7 June, it was confirmed that chairman Freddy Shepherd had agreed to sell his 28% share to Ashley, which left Ashley free to take control of the club; as of 15 June 2007, Ashley owned a 77.06% stake in Newcastle United, on course to withdraw the club from the stock exchange having surpassed the 75% threshold required. 100% acquisition was achieved in July with Ashley paying a total of around £134 million to buy the club. Ashley appeared to have saved the club from certain financial ruin by paying off large sums of debt inherited from the previous regime, although he was criticised for not doing due diligence when buying the club, as he subsequently revealed he had been unaware of issues such as the upfront payment of club finances such as the Northern Rock sponsorship, the presence of outstanding liabilities for long past player transfers.
Ashley's ownership of the club was popular with
Kangol is an English clothing company famous for its headwear. The name Kangol reflects the original production where the K was for knitting, the ANG was for angora, the OL was for wool. Although no Kangol hat has actually been manufactured in Australia, the Kangaroo logo was adopted by Kangol in 1983 because Americans asked where they could get "the Kangaroo hat." Founded in the 1920s, by Jewish Polish World War I veteran Jacques Spreiregen, Kangol produced hats for workers and soldiers. In 1938, working in London as an importer, opened a factory at Cleator, England, which he ran with his nephew Joseph Meisner. A second factory was opened at nearby Frizington, under the direction of Spreiregen's younger nephew Sylvain Meisner, a third factory, manufacturing motorcycle helmets and seat belts in Carlisle, they were the major beret suppliers to the armed forces during World War II. Kangol has been owned by Sports Direct since 2006, when they acquired the brand from private equity fund August Equity Trust.
Licences to manufacture and sell Kangol apparel have been sold to many different companies including D2 and Topshop. In 2002, the Kangol apparel brand was acquired by Kangol Clothing North America LLC, a subsidiary of Chesterfield Manufacturing Corp in Charlotte North Carolina. In 2003, Chesterfield was acquired by Tomasello Inc., wholly owned and led by David W. Tomasello; the global rights to Kangol hats have been held by American hatmakers Bollman Hat Company since 2002. It was announced in February 2009 that Bollman were reviewing their worldwide operations, putting 33 jobs and the future of the Kangol head office in Cleator in doubt. On 6 April 2009, it was announced that the original factory would be converted to a warehouse with the loss of 25 jobs. Only seven employees now remain employed at the company's original site and the outlet shop closed at the end of August 2009. However, hats will continue to be made at their sites in the United States. During WWII, the signature Kangol beret was worn famously by British Field Marshal Montgomery.
In the 1960s, designers Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin worked with the company, whose products graced the heads of the rich and famous, including the Beatles and Arnold Palmer, Diana, Princess of Wales. The company supplied uniformed organisations such as the Scout Association. In the 1980s Kangol berets entered a new phase of fashion history with their adoption by members of the hip-hop community, such as Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Kangol Kid of UTFO, The Notorious B. I. G; the brand was popularised more by the 1991 movie New Jack City. The release of more consciously stylish products in the 1990s such as the furgora Spitfire, was helped by its presence upon the head of Samuel L. Jackson in 1997. Kevin Eubanks, bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, sported a Kangol beret on an nightly basis. In 2009, Eminem wore the Cotton Twill Army Cap Kangol hat on his Beautiful video. Slick Rick references Kangol in his songs "La Di Da Di" and "Mona Lisa". Boogie Boys 1980's hip hop band, reference Kangol in their song "A Fly Girl".
The lyrics line reads, "Girls look fly in Kangols". Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown and his gang, the Cash Money Brothers, wear hats by Kangol throughout the movie New Jack City. Samuel L. Jackson as Ordell Robbie wore a Kangol back to front in the movie Jackie Brown; the hip hop group De La Soul referenced Kangol in the song "Fallin'" on the soundtrack of the 1993 film Judgment Night with the lines "I knew I blew the whole fandango/When the drum programmer wore a Kangol". Steve Carell is shown wearing a Kangol hat in the show The Office in the episode called "Happy Hour". Tyler James Williams as Chris is shown wearing a Kangol hat in the show Everybody Hates Chris in two episodes called "Everybody Hates DJs" and "Everybody Hates Gambling". Rapper Dana Dane tells a story of how his straw hat turns into a Kangol in his song, "Cinderfella Dana Dane"; the movie Straight Outta Compton features a scene where Ice Cube gets into a dispute with a New York rapper telling him "Wearing a Kangol don't make you LL Cool J!"
Official website Official store Bollman Hats official site Working for Kangol— BBC Cumbria Making a Beret for Bette Davis— BBC Cumbria