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Merger with JD Sports may be worse for Footasylum shoppers: UK CMA

06
Sep '21
Pic: Roger Utting / Shutterstock
Pic: Roger Utting / Shutterstock
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently said the merger of JD Sports and Footasylum could result in a worse deal for Footasylum shoppers. This means customers could face higher prices, fewer discounts and less choice of products in store. It could also result in the merged company investing less in improvements to customer service, an official release said.

Following the CMA’s final decision to block the merger in May last year, JD Sports appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which remitted the case back to the CMA for reconsideration.

CMA arrived at the latest conclusion after gathering extensive additional evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other developments in the sports fashion sector.

At this stage, the CMA’s view is that blocking the deal, by requiring JD Sports to sell Footasylum, may be the only way of addressing these competition concerns.

“Since our original inquiry, we have gathered a significant amount of additional evidence, including on the impact of coronavirus, and we still have concerns about JD Sports’ takeover of Footasylum. This deal would see Footasylum bought by its closest competitor and, as a result, shoppers could face higher prices, less choice and a worse shopping experience overall,” Kip Meek, chair of the group conducting this inquiry, said.

While many stores were closed during lockdown, online sales in this market have been stronger than ever, and revenue from in-store sales is rebounding as people return to the high street.

CMA has sought the opinions of JD Sports, Footasylum and others in the sector on its provisional decision and its suggested remedy.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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