Sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley has launched a new discount store in an attempt to gobble up a bigger share of the UK high street.
The plan has been coined ‘Son of Woolworths’ and opened just days ago, according to The Mail on Sunday. This is Ashley’s first foray into a market outside the sports and fashion sectors and, under the name ‘Mega Value’, is trading in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
The Mega Value shop promises to ‘beat anyone’s price’, synonymous with Ashley’s reputation for bartering prices with suppliers.
A source said: “It is very similar to a B&M or Wilko store. It will be interesting to see how this venture fares as there are a lot of empty shops about where you could quite easily slot one of these.”
It emerges as Woolworths’ site prepares to close next month.
“People in the industry are calling [Ashley’s venture] “Son of Woolworths” and the fact that it is launching virtually on the day the Woolworths site has closed will not be lost on people,” said one senior retail source. “Its assortment of products is virtually identical to what you would have once found in the stores – toys, kitchen and home products, pets and DIY. The whole thing also screams low price.”
Ironically the shop is adjacent to the town’s former Woolworth’s store, which has remained as an empty unit since closing over six years ago.
The Mega Value shop also sells garden tools, garden furniture, small electrical items, crafts, health, beauty and outdoor goods.
Sports Direct is also preparing to put out a website under the names MegaValue.com and MegaValueDirect.com.