Sports Direct has called for an investigation into the dominance of certain ”must-have’” brands – namely Nike and Adidas – in the sportswear market.
It follows reports that Nike has warned independent retailers that it will stop supplying them by 2021.
Nike is believed to have told indies that they are “no longer aligned” with its distribution strategy. There are concerns fellow heavyweight Adidas could follow suit.
In a statement, Sports Direct said: “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-à-vis the retailers within their supply networks and use their market power to implement market-wide practices aimed at controlling the supply and, ultimately, the pricing of their products.”
It claimed that tactics used by large sportswear brands include restricting products, withdrawing the supply of products and refusing to supply.
The Mike Ashley-owned retail group added that it has “long fought against” such practices.