Mike Ashley Promises to ‘Smash Rivals To Bits’ If They Don’t Co-Operate
Mike Ashley has heralded a new era for his business empire as he looks to dominate Europe as well as the UK.
In a typically aggressive move, Ashley has promised to ‘smash’ rivals who currently trade in the countries he’s targeting, if they won’t work with him.
Analyst Sanjay Vidyarthi says that there are over 1,000 stores across Europe that could be potential targets for Ashley and his SD empire.
Speaking to analysts, Retail Week have reported Mike Ashley saying;
“It is about putting shops down in a few places and seeing who wants to play. If you don’t want to play, we will come to your country and smash you to bits.
“That is the message we will be putting out over the next 12 months to people in Europe.
“Work with us and we will make a lot of money together.”
Sports Direct is for example already the market leader in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania where they now have 80 stores in total.
The latest message from Mike Ashley is just a continuation of his business strategy, having already bought 52 stores in Austria from AG last year, plus a majority stake in the Baltic concern, Sportland International. Further afield, Sports Direct have also taken a stake in Australian online retailer MySale, with SD stores also due to be opened in both Australia and New Zealand.
On the European front, SD already have a presence in 19 countries but as an example of the potential room for growth, they only have one store in Spain and six in France.
Ashley’s expansion plans are clearly a perfect fit with his interest at Newcastle United.
The massive amounts of free advertising and promotion of Sports Direct and associated brands via the Premier League broadcasting deals, are an integral part of the owner’s strategy in breaking into these new markets and selling his brands.
The recent transfer spending at Newcastle has simply seen the recycling of incoming transfer cash. If the extra broadcasting cash was made available as well as Ashley’s business empire actually paying for all the free advertising, who knows where Newcastle United could get to?
While Ashley runs the football club in a ruthless manner, if he did so with the aim of producing success on the pitch rather than simply surviving and providing the free advertising, I have little doubt that he could bring trophies to St.James’ Park – which is perhaps the saddest irony of all.
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