Sainsbury's faces Nike action

THE SPORTSWEAR group, Nike, and Sainsbury's are heading for a legal wrangle after Nike threatened the supermarket group with a High Court injunction to prevent it from selling goods it believes to be counterfeit.

In a faxed warning to Sainsbury's Savacentre, Nike demanded that the retailer remove a consignment of Nike shirts from hypermarkets or face court action. Sainsbury's said its goods were genuine and refused to comply. Nike said it will ask the High Court today to compel Savacentre to withdraw all the Nike products and disclose the source of its supply.

In May, designer Tommy Hilfiger asked the High Court to stop Tesco selling allegedly counterfeit clothes. Tesco claims they are authentic. In July, UK retailers were barred by the European Court of Justice from buying designer goods outside the EU on the "grey market".

Nike began an investigation after UK customs alerted it to a shipment from the Philippines of about 25,000 items. The goods subsequently "disappeared into the supply chain'' before a trading standards officer in Manchester brought a range of goods believed to be counterfeit to its attention, Mr Lock said. The goods were bought at a Savacentre store.

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