Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Boss's Stores Rap

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Boss's Stores Rap

Article excerpt

SPORTS shops owned by Toon boss Mike Ashley were rapped today for claiming to be closing down - only to carry on trading.

The Office of Fair Trading said a number of stores branded Sportsdirect.com, Har-greaves (Sports) and Gilesports ran the promotions for several months. They are part of Sports Direct International, which is majority owned by Newcastle United owner Mr Ashley.

Despite telling shoppers they only had a limited time to pick up a bargain, some of the shops ended up either not closing or just shutting briefly for refurbishment, the OFT said.

The three companies have not been fined by the OFT because they agreed not to advertise stores for closure when that is not the case in future.

If the stores are to close temporarily then the reason for closure and the intended dates of closure must be clearly advertised.

Officials investigated after receiving complaints earlier this year.

The OFT said: "The advertisements created the incorrect impression that the shop in question was to close permanently and as a result of the imminent closure the consumer only had a short period of time to purchase the goods and/or that only a limited amount of stock was available. …

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