Mike Ashley expands Sexy Clubwear Sports Direct empire into the

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    Sportswear tycoon Sexy Clubwear Mike Ashley has taken his first strides into the American market by snapping up 50 stores in the US.

    Mr Ashley’s retail giant Sports Wholesale Babydoll Lingerie Direct has received court approval to buy Eastern Outfitters out of bankruptcy.

    The company will acquire the stores, which trade as Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, for $101m (£79m).

    The two retailers sell predominantly sports and casual wear, as well as outdoor and camping equipment.

    Sports DirectCredit:Carl Court/Getty ImagesIn the financial period to January 28, the businesses made a loss of $26m. The gross assets of the businesses come to $126m.

    "The acquisition is expected to complete in the first half of May 2017 and will provide Sports Direct with a footprint in US bricks-and-mortar retail and a platform from which to grow online sales," Sports Direct said.

    Earlier this year, Mr Ashley swooped on lingerie firm Agent Provocateur in a controversial £31m deal.  He has bought the global branding rights to the luxury lingerie business, but is not taking on Agent Provocateur’s 100 international outlets.

    Last week Sports Direct appointed a 30-year-old shop manager from Barnstaple as its first worker representative as part of its efforts to fight back against criticism of its working conditions.