UPDATED: Sports Direct says stores will now NOT open

UPDATED: Sports Direct says stores will now NOT open

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 7:09am 24th March 2020. (Updated at 8:17am 24th March 2020)

The chain has made a u-turn and now decided not to open its stores today after telling staff it would.

Tough new measures were announced by Boris Johnson last night that all UK shops selling non-essential goods should close immediately.

He also made it clear that only key workers should be travelling to work and people should only be going to shops in order to buy food or collect medicines and prescriptions.

The prime minister also said people could leave home for exercise, but only with people they are living with.

The sports retailer had originally said in an email to staff it intended to open because it sells equipment designed for exercising at home.

sports direct

'What led us to think Sports Direct would stay open?'

Well, shortly after the PM's announcement the finance chief of Frasers Group, which includes Sports Direct and Evan's Cycles, wrote to all staff.

Chris Wootton suggested the company's outlets are essential in the fight against COVID-19 and that staff were therefore key workers.

"We stock a huge range of sports equipment designed for exercising at home from yoga mats, gym balls, skipping ropes, weights, indoor and outdoor trampolines, resistance bands through to bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, static exercise bikes, multigyms, fitness clothing and footwear in order for people to remain fit and healthy during this period of isolation, indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself. Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products  has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this (in accordance with the Government's current social distancing guidance). 


It looks like to company have now had a change of heart and decided not to open its stores.

Meanwhile the company tweeted the Prime Minister prompting some strong responses.