Nick Mavrides at Ace Sports
An independent sports store owner is suing Nike after being prevented from selling boots and kits because he was too small.
Nick Mavrides, owner of Ace Sports in Kentish Town who has worked there for over 30 years, saw his account closed by the global giant last year.
He was told he could not place orders as he did not meet the annual minimum purchase of Â£ 8,500 per year.
He is one of dozens of independent stores to be prevented from selling high-end Nike products because they do not have the right image for the company.
Now he is suing the global giant for lost profits in what he has described as a “David vs. Goliath” battle.
Mr Mavrides said: âNike says we are not good enough to stock their prestigious products for the locals. In doing so, they say that the local people are not good enough for them either. “
He added, âEither way, we don’t want their high-end products. We want our bread and butter stuff – football boots, shin guards, gloves. We are also happy to make kits for amateur football, but they also said no. “
âThey want the stores to be nicely laid out or that you are not good enough. We’ve been a key Nike partner for 30 years. We helped them in their early days and you see where they are today? They kept me from making an honest living.
Mr Mavrides said he felt he now needed to take legal action.
âI placed an order for Â£ 8,000 when I found out they had canceled my account,â he said. âThat meant I had to get it from another supplier. So I’m suing them for Â£ 4,000 for loss of income from that job alone. They call me ‘Mozzy Mav’ because I’m like a mosquito – I can be damn boring.
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Nike began last year blocking small independent retailers from selling their most sought-after products.
Instead, he agreed to only work with a handful of big retailers around the world – in the UK it’s JD Sports – while forcing commerce through his own website and shops. , like that of King’s Cross.
Euro Sports at Finchley Road – an independent sports store run by brother and sister duo Chan and Shilpa Patel for 43 years – was forced to register with a separate European supply chain to continue selling certain Nike products.
Ms Patel said: âThey don’t want people like our stores to display their products because we are not fashionable enough. When in reality our customers love the look of the store. We’ve been here for 44 years – we’re a community store. It’s more than just selling products to people.
He added: âIt’s an excuse to exclude people like us. They used to come and show us the products with a suitcase in the 1970s and 1980s. Now they want to eliminate all the small businesses. I can understand Nick’s position. It’s totally corporate madness. “
Euro Sports installed a large sign in its storefront urging customers not to just try on athletic equipment and shoes and then go shopping online.
Nike has been invited to comment.