Mike Ashley Gives Rival ‘A Good Kicking’
Troubled JJB Sports blamed disappointing sales of England football shirts at the European Championship and the recent wet weather for a profit warning, which saw its shares sink by more than a quarter yesterday, though they saw a very small recovery today .
The London Evening Standard reported as follows;
‘JJB, which has endured a crisis-stricken four years, said that since April 1 it had suffered a “deterioration in trading performance against management expectation, particularly during May and June when the expected peak in sales in connection with sales of replica football kits and associated products generated from consumer interest in the European Football Championships did not materialise to the extent anticipated”.
People familiar with the situation stressed JJB had stocked enough football kit but analysts suggested that Sports Direct — which is controlled by Newcastle United boss Mike Ashley — had given it a good kicking before and during the tournament.
Peter Smedley, analyst at Charles Stanley, said “Sports Direct was very aggressive on England football product, likely funded by Umbro”, which he believes had “an important effect on JJB’s sales and margins”.’
Mike Ashley has built an all powerful position in Sportswear Retail and while his shops often resemble an assault course as you try to get out, there is plenty method in his madness.
There is also of course a sheer ruthlessness running through his business history and which is seen all too clearly in the England merchandise battlefield outlined above.
His hard nosed strategy on Newcastle’s incoming transfers paid an eventual dividend when Papiss Cisse was eventually landed at what now looks a bargain £9m or so, fingers crossed that that strategy will bear further fruit this summer as there are shirts to be filled in the first team squad.
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