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Sunday 18 August 2019

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Ashley ‘mulls shopper credit at Sports Direct’

Written by Hannah McGrath
01/04/2019

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is reportedly eyeing moves to offer consumer credit options to its customers.

According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, Ashley, whose Sports Direct Group is currently battling to take control of struggling retailer Debenhams, is said to want to emulate Next, which has 2.5 million customers signed up to its credit arm.

Chris Wootton, deputy chief financial officer of Sports Direct, said that credit extended to shoppers was “on the agenda” as part of plans to grow Sports Direct, in comments cited by the paper.

However, Wootton acknowledged potential pitfalls involved in extending long-term payment options with interest rates to customers, including regulation and compliance.

He is quoted as saying that the company wants to steer clear of a “situation where someone ends up paying £1,000 for a football”.

In a separate development in Sports Direct's £61.4m bid to takeover Debenhams, the company, which holds a 30 per cent stake in Debenhams, urged shareholders this morning to set out their objections to a £200m refinancing plan rubber stamped by bondholders last week.



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