Sports stores and grocers criticised for their soccer sales strategies
Retailers are facing criticism over their World Cup sales strategies, with sports retailers slammed for over-pricing children's replica shirts and supermarkets blamed for selling beer too cheaply.

Consumers' Association magazine Which? has pointed the figure at sports retailers that are selling the children's version of the England replica shirts for almost as much as an adult shirt.

The report cites shirts sold through the Football Association (FA), where an XXXL adult shirt and matching shorts costs£32, while a shirt and shorts for a seven-year-old boy is£26, even though it uses far less material.

The report compares prices of shirts at JJB Sports, Kitbag, Littlewoods, M and M Direct, Sportsworld, Streetwise Sports and Subside Sports, all of which charged more than the FA. Prices for kids' replica shirts ranged from£17.49 to£36.99.

Supermarkets have also come in for criticism, this time for over alcohol promotions.

Innkeepers' group The Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA) has criticised the price promotions that supermarkets are running on beer in the run-up to the World Cup.

FLVA chief executive Tony Payne argued that supermarkets, which now have an increasing share of alcohol sales and cheap deals on beer, should share responsibility for drunken behaviour during the World Cup. 'It is unfair that pubs always get the blame,' he said.

He pointed out that publicans observe guidelines on social responsibility surrounding the sale of alcohol and suggested there should also be 'social responsibility standards for supermarkets'.

'It is a concern when they are telling people to stock up for the World Cup,' he said.

Meanwhile, Tesco has backtracked on its ban on St George's flags. Yesterday the retailer told delivery drivers they were not allowed to display England flags in their cabs, but retracted the ban after drivers protested.