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Sports Direct owner Frasers slams unfair Leicester lockdown

Published
Jul 3, 2020
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Sports Direct wants its Leicester shops to remain open during the local lockdown, with Frasers Group CFO criticising the two-week closure as “scandalous”.


Sports Direct


The retail group has three stores in and around Leicester, which have been forced to close their doors following an increase in Covid-19 cases in the area.

According to The Times, Frasers Group CFO Chris Wootton has sent a letter to Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister to ask for clarity over the classification of “essential retail”.

Clothing stores, department stores and book retailers in the lockdown zone must remain closed for at least two weeks, while supermarkets and stores selling bicycles can continue to trade with social distancing in place.

In a strongly worded note, Sports Direct said its stores were comparable with Decathlon and Go Outdoors, which were allowed to stay open over the past three months.

Wootton also questioned the Government’s decision to allow off-licenses to open while sporting goods shops must close.

“For the government to deem such items [as alcohol and tobacco] essential to the public over and above the sporting goods we sell is perverse and actually scandalous,” he wrote. 

This is not the first time the retailer has asked the Government to change its guidance to include its stores, which sell sportswear as well as sports equipment like weights and dumbells, as “essential retail”.

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