AndyK wrote:Last week SportsDirect bought Evans out of administration and promptly announced that it expected to close at least half the stores. Looking at SportsDirect's track record (anyone remember Field & Trek?) I suspect that the remaining branches will be dumbed down, starting with the phasing out of the repair and servicing side of the business, then an exodus of experienced staff, then the gradual elimination of high-end bike brands and their replacement with whatever SD can buy cheap and slap one of their own brand names onto. Look out for MuddyFox bikes [shudder] coming to an Evans near you soon. More branches will be closed and sold off. Compared to the SportsDirect Evans of the future, Halfords may look like a premium cycle shop. Even if SD wants to keep the Brompton dealerships, Brompton may not wish to be associated with it and in any case the Evans chain will be a fraction of its former size.
There's a lot of conjecture there, however dislikeable you find Mr Ashley, it'd be wrong to dismiss his business acumen based on some of his present enterprises. Yes you could say Sports Direct only does well by selling the cheapest kit at the lowest price and doesn't care much how it does so, but it would also be true to say that it's success is due to an understanding of that market. They've had Tri UK for a year and there's no sign of Muddy Fox there, it's a different market. Likewise I'm not expecting to see House of Fraser chasing the Primark customers. I have no idea what he intends for Evans, they could be asset strip it and absorb the brands and goodwill into SD, or build it's online presence up to rival the big players. What we do know is they have the wherewithal to put any plans into action and a track record of doing so, unlike Evans's last couple of owners. Time will tell.