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Sports Direct calls for investigation into Nike and Adidas dominance

Sports Direct has voiced concerns about the dominance of Adidas and Nike in the sportswear industry and is suggesting a Europe-wide investigation.

“The sports industry has long been dominated by the ‘must-have’ brands such as Adidas,” said a Sports Direct statement. “These ‘must-have’ brands hold an extremely strong bargaining position vis-à-vis the retailers within their supply networks and use their market power to implement market-wide practices aimed at controlling the supply and, ultimately, the pricing of their products.”

It continued: “Sports Direct has long fought against such practices and has historically sometimes found itself at a disadvantage, with brands like Adidas withdrawing supplies of key products (such as replica football shirts ie Chelsea shirts in 2013) or simply refusing to supply key products at all with no apparent justification.

“Sports Direct believes that the industry as a whole would benefit from a wide market review by the appropriate authorities in both the UK and Europe.”

This follows a Sunday Times story published on 13th October, which said Nike had informed retailers that access to its products would end in two years, stating that their way of stocking its goods was “no longer aligned” with Nike’s distribution strategy.

A Nike spokesman said: “Nike continually evaluates the marketplace and competitive landscape to understand how we can best serve consumers. As part of this, from time to time we do make adjustments to our sales channels, in order to optimise distribution.”

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