Records seen by CyclingIndustry.News show that the backer to Tri UK’s significant expansion is Mike Ashley’s SportsDirect.com, which is now the sole shareholder.
Currently in the news having announced his hope to sell football club Newcastle United, Ashley has long been rumoured to have an interest in the cycling business. SportsDirect.com are now the backer to an aggressive expansion of the Triathlon specialist that will see six new stores open across the UK. Sites are lined up for Belfast, Edinburgh, Kent, Oxford and Nottingham, with the latter set for a January opening. The Yeovil branch will also remain.
Ashley’s current sporting empire includes brands such as Donnay, Dunlop Slazenger, Karrimor, Kangol, Londsdale and most recently JJB Sports. He also owns a significant stake in Umbro and Blacks Leisure Group, among others.
At 25 years old, Tri UK is a favourite among triathletes and the expansion plans have been welcomed by industry brands.
Russell Merry of Cycling Sports Group commented when news broke of the expansion: “We are pleased to be a partner in TRI UK’s expansion plans. The cycle retail industry is constantly evolving and we are excited to be a part of the next stage of TRI UK’s growth. To have such a large amount of retail space for our Cannondale brand will enable us to showcase to customers the full breadth of the range – all under one roof! I am confident that the customer experience will be fantastic!”
150 jobs are expected to be created in the business over the next 18 months.
The move is the second acquisition in the triathlon business this week, with U.S.-based TriSports bought by the founder of Qunitana Roo.
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