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Soccer shop tycoon snaps up Karrimor.

SHM Stevens Champion has secured the reassignment of leases for 18 adventure and outdoor shores left vacant following the collapse of Karrimor.

Mike Ashley, the secretive multi millionaire behind the Sports Soccer retail chain, bought most of the Karrimor's wholesale and retail business from receivers Begbies Traynor for pounds 5 million.

Mr Ashley swooped within hours of Karrimor going into receivership, and through his Lonsdale Sports company has taken on the running of eight outlets, including all three in London.

Meanwhile Field & Trek has acquired the YHA Adventure store in Corporation Street, Birmingham, as well as as Karrimor branches in Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and Liverpool.

The remaining two outlets, in Alnwick and Grasmere, have been taken on by REKRI8.

Ian Maycock, of SHM, said: 'All the stores are in prime locations with an established customer base.

'This meant they proved to be highly attractive to the new tenants.'

Karrimor, whose headquarters are at Clayton-le-Moors in Lancashire, where 60 staff are based, is one of the UK's leading designers, suppliers and retailers of camping and hiking gear. It has equipped world record Polar expeditions and Everest ascents. Karrimor's most recent published figures for the 17 months to February 28, 2003 showed a pounds 301,000 pre-tax loss on pounds 18.7 million sales.

At the time it said: 'The continued competitive pressures on the UK wholesale business prevented growth during the period.'
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 9, 2004
Words:231
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