Adidas is to withdrawn Chelsea’s replica kit from Sports Direct stores from next football season as it does not fit with its “segmentation strategy”.
Sports Direct boss Dave Forsey said it had recently been contacted by the sports giant to inform him of the news and was “concerned” about Adidas’ decision, which he said he found “impossible to understand”.
The retailer will still sell its supporters shirt but not the replica kit Chelsea players wear on the field. Forsey said the withdrawal applies only to Chelsea shirts as Adidas does not make kits for any other major Premier League club.
Forsey said: “We’re very well known for football. Chelsea supporters will be surprised to find they can’t find Chelsea kit at Sports Direct.”
An Adidas spokesman said: “Like all manufacturers, we regularly review, season by season, where our products are distributed. We determine distribution channels for all products based on criteria such as in-store environment and customer service levels.
“This season, we’re implementing a new distribution strategy across Europe for key products in football and other sports. We’d like to point out that Sports Direct continues to be an important retailer for Adidas and their customers still have the opportunity to buy a great range of adidas products in their stores.”
Chelsea signed a 10-year contract worth £300m with Adidas earlier this year, the biggest shirt deal in Premier League history.
Sports Direct today revealed underlying pre-tax profit jumped 16.9% to £146.2m in its half to October 27 as group revenue rose 23.5% to £1.35bn.