Sportswear retailer Sports Direct has frozen buying across both clothing and footwear, after chilly weather left it stuck with excess spring stock.
The Mike Ashley-owned business is understood to have imposed a buying ban across the entire chain until either the end of June or the start of July.
One Sports Direct supplier said: “It is quite overstocked at the moment. Companies do freeze their buying from time to time but from what I understand, this has been going on for a while.”
“I don’t think the weather has helped with its stock position,” said another supplier.
One young fashion brand added that for “fast-moving lines” the retailer would take in fresh stock to replenish the best-selling products.
“Sports Direct has obviously acquired lots of new brands and with that has come extra stock, so it is very stock-rich at the moment,” the source said.
“It is still trading; it is just bringing in less stock so it can manage stock levels while selling it cheaply.”
Sports Direct this week revealed a jump in profits. In the nine weeks to March 31, gross profits increased 22.7% to £128.6m as total group sales climbed 14.3% to £317.4m. Like-for-like sales across the group’s sports retail division rose 13.6% to £264.3m, as gross profit also grew to £104.8m.
Sports Direct declined to comment on the buying freeze.
Sports Direct is not the first retailer to impose restrictions on its buying team as a result of the recent bad weather.
Last week, Drapers reported that off-price retailer TK Maxx had placed a temporary embargo on footwear after bad weather and poor sales