JJB Sports chief executive Tom Knight believes the company will lose about £20 million in sales from replica football kit this year, due to the absence of the football World Cup.
Replica kit made up £113m of sales last year, but are expected to decline to £93m this year, Knight told Drapers.
However, retail sales excluding replica kit were up 2.6%. Knight said new branded in-store areas for Adidas and Nike, featuring exclusive product lines, had helped by averting direct price competition with rival Sports Direct.
"Average prices have levelled off and we hope there will be price increases in future," he added.
JJB Sports now has 83 Adidas and 53 Nike in-store areas and aims to have 200 and 100 respectively by the end of the year.
Total sales including retail and health clubs fell 1.2% for the 18 weeks to June 3, with like-for-likes down 1.8%. Gross margins rose 2.6 percentage points.