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Exclusive: Firetrap stockists considering legal action

At least one Firetrap stockist is considering legal action after Sports Direct said it would not allow any autumn 12 orders to be cancelled.

The Sports Direct-owned young fashion brand this week wrote to stockists saying they could not return any autumn 12 items. It did so after it emerged Sports Direct was selling Firetrap clothing online for less than the wholesale price.

The letter said: “It has never been a condition of our trading relationship that Firetrap products are not sold in any particular distribution channel and as such recent events do not give you the right to cancel.”

A subsequent letter said any legal action would be “vigorously defended”.

However, at least one young fashion indie is planning to consult lawyers to establish whether he may have a case against Sports Direct.

“When I placed my order, I placed it in good faith that Sports Direct weren’t going to sell it. They gave me an undertaking and that undertaking has been breached,” he told Drapers.

Although there is no written agreement, Stephen Sidkin, chair of the fashion law group within Fox Williams, said stockists may be able to argue that there had been a misrepresentation if enough people took the stand.

“If a group of them got together in court and all came across very credibly then I think Sports Direct would need to explain why its oral assurance could not be relied upon by the indies,” he added.

Sports Direct declined to comment.

Readers' comments (3)

  • What an absurd idea. Do you really think Sports Direct would have taken the move to sell Firetrap at below wholesale price without at least some legal consultation? Whilst what they've done is completely deplorable to some, it is in no way illegal.

    I sincerely hope that this foolhardy indie owner realises this and bites the bullet instead of being landed with massive legal fees ON TOP of the unreturnable Firetrap stock.

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  • As much as I'd like to see Sports Direct turned over in court, Indies that have been Firetrap stockists should move on now. The brand is finished and Indies should look elsewhere. Some comments made that there is 'nothing else like it out there' is ridiculous.

    If Indies have any outstanding invoices, just don't pay them. Then Sports Direct will ultimately have to pick the goods up anyway. There are Indies out there anyway who cannot/will not/do not pay their invoices, so the goods end up being collected, so what's the difference?

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  • Problem is Firetrap want paying now or they intend to sue for payment. So it is not just as simple as not paying and let them collect it. Only if.

    At the end of the day, Firetrap gave assurances orally and confirmed in writing. They broke those assurances.

    Simple breach of contract matter.

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