Mike Ashley has always loved a bargain and while he no longer has executive management control at Frasers, this bit of his DNA is still evident throughout the retail group.

His son-in-law Michael Murray, the chief executive of Frasers since May of last year, has made a point of late of insisting that it is he and not Mr Ashley who is calling the shots at Frasers. This has included a string of acquisitions including today's revelation that the group has further increased its stake in fast fashion retailer Boohoo.

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The evolution of Frasers as it has grown from its Sports Direct origins into the middle and upper echelons of fashion retailing has been driven by financial opportunity, most notably the £90 million purchase in 2020 of what was then known as House of Fraser after the 169-year-old department store collapsed into administration. As the pandemic and ensuing cost-of-living crisis has taken its toll on others in the sector, Frasers has expanded its influence with stakes in rival brands such as USC, French Connection, Hugo Boss and N Brown, while also buying up retail properties whose valued have fallen as their tenants struggle.

Earlier this month shares in Boohoo plunged to their lowest since October 2015 after it warned that annual sales could fall by up to 17% amid pressure from the cost-of-living crisis. The group's debts also increased from £10.4m to £35m.

The timing was therefore ideal for Frasers to further boost its stake in Boohoo, which also owns Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal. 

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Speaking earlier this month Mr Murray told The Telegraph that he couldn't comment on the stake-building in Boohoo as the investments were in "mid-flight".

Frasers has previously said that it sees “potential synergies” between Boohoo and two of its brands, I Saw It First and Missguided, and hopes to forge collaborations between them. It stands to reason that Boohoo could serve as another avenue for selling Frasers' athleisure wear.

However, it could be that Mr Murray and his team see this simply as a way to make a quick buck, with a view to flipping the shares if Boohoo succeeds with its turnaround plans. Either way, it looks to be a win for Frasers.