Sports Direct called this evening for a competition probe into the market dominance of sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas.
In a statement, the company said top brands “use their market power to implement market-wide practices aimed at controlling the supply and, ultimately, the pricing of their products”.
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Its intervention follows a Sunday Times story over the weekend which said Nike had informed retailers that access to its products would end in two years.
The report said retailers feared that Adidas would follow suit.
“The sports industry has long been dominated by the ‘must-have’ brands such as Adidas.
“These ‘must have’ brands hold an extremely strong bargaining position vis-a-vis the retailers,” Sports Direct said.
It said major brands used policies such as restricting the range of products available to retailers, the withdrawal of supply of products or the outright refusal to supply products.
The retailer said the sector should be subject to a market review by competition authorities in the UK and Europe.
A Nike spokesperson 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.”
Adidas did not respond to a request for comment.