Sports Direct to open 10 new regional flagship stores – but is one planned for Chesterfield?

Sports Direct has announced it is to open 10 new regional flagship stores – but is one planned for Chesterfield?

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 3:04 pm

The discount chain currently occupies a unit in Chesterfield’s Pavement Shopping Centre.

However, rumours have been circling around whether the Shirebrook-based firm will move its town centre store and potentially take a bigger premises from Marks and Spencer on High Street amid its planned relocation to Ravenside Retail Park.

The Frasers Group, which owns Sports Direct, did not respond to a request for comment from the Derbyshire Times.

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The Sports Direct warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire

But new chief executive Michael Murray – who has taken over from Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, his future father-in-law – has said he wants 10 ‘big regional, experiential stores’ and has insisted Britain’s High Streets are not ‘dead’.

He told the BBC: "I believe if you give people a reason to come and shop, they will shop. They've just not had a reason for the past few years.”

When speaking about prices, Mr Murry admitted they will probably rise.

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"In terms of the pricing of product, we are very much at the mercy of our brand partners. They decide the price they want to sell the goods for and we will increase the prices as and when the brands ask us or recommend us to do so," he explained.

London's Oxford Street store was the first new-look Sports Direct, unveiled last year.

Birmingham's new branch, which opened last Friday, includes an E-sports gaming room, a sports bra fitting service, as well as Evans Cycles and a Game concession.

"It's cost more than £10m. It's a huge investment in the High Street," Mr Murray said.

Marks and Spencer confirmed it would be taking over the former Debenhams unit on Ravenside Retail Park after announcing plans for a larger store on Food Hall in March.

As part of the changes, the retailer said it will be closing its existing town centre store but that it will remain open until work on the new site is complete.

Although the High Street unit is not owned by Chesterfield Borough Council, the authority has said it will work with Marks and Spencer and the landlord to “explore alternative uses for this key town centre building.”

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