Nick Mavrides, owner of Ace Sports in London’s Kentish Town, has won a tribunal in the small claims court against sportswear conglomerate Nike.
Mavrides received a letter from Nike on 29 June 2018, stating that the retailer would be closing his account after he could not meet a minimum purchase order of €10,000 (£8,547). He said there had been no minimum spend until around three years ago.
The letter read: “Our data shows that for Neon [Nike European Operations Netherlands] fiscal year 18, the total value of your invoiced purchases is €8,550 [£7,307]. This means that you have not fulfilled the minimum annual purchase obligation … we will proceed with the closure of your Neon customer number and account, ending the commercial relationship with your company.”
Mavrides, who has traded with Nike for more than 30 years, took Nike to the small claims court in July this year. He claimed the account closure cost him a loss of profit for an order he had received from an “important client” amounting to £8,394, representing a loss from this single order of £4,022.
Nike agreed to a settlement and paid the amount claimed in full on 4 December (inclusive of the full court fee), “by way of commercial gesture”.
Nike’s legal representatives said in a letter: “You have issued a claim against our client seeking the sum of £4,207.13 (inclusive of the court fee). Our client denies that it is liable for that sum or at all and that the claim and the allegations made by you are misconceived [sic].
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“That said our client is, on a prejudice and without admission of liability basis and by way of commercial gesture which factors in the irrecoverable costs of litigation, prepared to offer to pay to you the sum of £4,207.13 in full and final settlement of the claim.”
Mavrides said he hoped the outcome would set a precedent for other independents.
Drapers has contacted Nike for comment.