The boss of Adidas has insisted he still wants to work with Sports Direct but admits he is not happy with “presentation” in store.
Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer offered an olive branch to the sportswear giant, founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, following a row over replica football shirts last year. Adidas said it would pull its best-selling replica shirts, including the Chelsea kit, from Sports Direct’s stores.
However, Hainer told The Sunday Telegraph that it is still keen to work with Sports Direct.
He said: “Our main objective is definitely to improve the situation with the retail partners. I don’t know exactly how many stores SDI [Sports Direct International] has in England, but it is definitely a lot. I want to see our brand get good presentation in all these stores, the same with JD and you name them.”
Hainer said Adidas is in “permanent discussion” with Sports Direct and is planning to fly to the UK for talks in a few weeks.
He said: “We are in permanent discussion as to how we can improve our presence and visibility in the stores and I have got an invitation from Sean Nevitt [the head of buying] to look at the new store on Oxford Street when I am next in London because he is very proud of the presentation there.”
Hainer added: “This is a normal game that if somebody doesn’t get what he wants, that he is not satisfied, and we are not happy with the presentation, we tell them.
Adidas said it is on course to generate more than €2bn (£1.6bn) in sales of football products this year on the back of the World Cup in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Sports Direct has denied that it is poised to make an offer for footwear retailer Office, quashing trade speculation.