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Steve Sidkin, FW fashion law specialist, comments on the legal position of Firetrap stockists in Drapers

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This article was originally written by Victoria Gallagher for Drapers.

At least one Firetrap stockist is considering legal action after Sports Direct said it would not allow any autumn 12 orders to be cancelled.

The Sports Direct-owned young fashion brand this week wrote to stockists saying they could not return any autumn 12 items. It did so after it emerged Sports Direct was selling Firetrap clothing online for less than the wholesale price.

The letter said: “It has never been a condition of our trading relationship that Firetrap products are not sold in any particular distribution channel and as such recent events do not give you the right to cancel.”

A subsequent letter said any legal action would be “vigorously defended”.

However, at least one young fashion indie is planning to consult lawyers to establish whether he may have a case against Sports Direct.

“When I placed my order, I placed it in good faith that Sports Direct weren’t going to sell it. They gave me an undertaking and that undertaking has been breached,” he told Drapers.

Although there is no written agreement, Stephen Sidkin, chair of the fashion law group within Fox Williams, said stockists may be able to argue that there had been a misrepresentation if enough people took the stand.

“If a group of them got together in court and all came across very credibly then I think Sports Direct would need to explain why its oral assurance could not be relied upon by the indies,” he added.

Sports Direct declined to comment.