Cheap Karrimor stuff

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08/03/2013 at 13:08

Have bought named brand trainers at Sports Direct - (normally via Amazon it has to be said and normally New Balance) Have bought shorts, T Shirts and a running Jacket - probably the same one as the picture above, (can't say for sure as I can't open the image!!)  All OK. I'm lucky I don't need advice re running shoes - years of pounding the streets means that I know what I need.

I wouldn't expect advice from the store anymore than I would from JD Sports etc.

Edited: 08/03/2013 at 13:09
08/03/2013 at 13:10

as others say, Karrimor is not the name it was when you could rely on ALL their products to be well made and quality..........

but since Mike Astley of ChavDirect and Newcastle Utd fame bought the brand from the receivers, he has taken the name downmarket. It's a clever marketing ploy to be fair as the name still has a good reputation but underhanded imho as he is playing on people's brand loyalties - eventually it will backfire as the products lose credibility

granted that some of their clothing isn't bad, but avoid things like boots or ruscksacks like the plague


I think this is Ashleys business model. 

  • Look for a brand that is just slighltlypast its best
  • Buy the rights to the name from owners
  • Gradually drip feed into Sports Direct as the higher quality end of their range
  • Eventually flood the stores with reduced quality versions with the same brand name
  • Repeat with new brand

I may be wrong but I seem to recall a similar strategy with

  • Donnay
  • Fila
  • Lonsdale
  • Ellesse
  • Everlast

Seems to manage a fair bit of value from a brand by dropping through various price points till it is squeezed dry.


08/03/2013 at 13:20

Fila is an independent company.

08/03/2013 at 13:28

Interesting theory Magic R. It makes sense

I didn't know they'd brought rights to those brands -  do you mean that any Lonsdale / Ellesse / Karimor stuff sold in other shops means that sportsdirect will get a cut?

08/03/2013 at 16:31
Run Wales wrote (see)

Interesting theory Magic R. It makes sense

I didn't know they'd brought rights to those brands -  do you mean that any Lonsdale / Ellesse / Karimor stuff sold in other shops means that sportsdirect will get a cut?

essentially yes as SD own those brands (bar Ellesse and Fila). the Karrimor brand was bought by Lonsdale Sports when it wnet into recievership in 2004 - Lonsdale is in turn is owned by Sports Direct.

these are the brands/outlets owned by SD

Current brands
  • Field & Trek
  • Golddigga - acquired by Sports Direct in 2008.
  • Lillywhites
  • Republic
  • SheRunsHeRuns
  • - internet and high street retail.
  • Firetrap
  • USC (clothing retailer)
Previous brands
  • Bike Clearance
  • Gilesports - merged into
  • Hargreaves Sports - merged into
  • Original Shoe Company - sold to JJB Sports in December 2007.
  • Streetwise Sports - merged into
  • Sports Soccer - merged into
  • Sports World - merged into
  • JJB Sports
Clothing and equipment
  • Antigua
  • Carlton
  • Dunlop
  • Donnay
  • GoldDigga
  • Everlast
  • Kangol
  • Karrimor
  • Lonsdale
  • No Fear (outside North America)
  • Slazenger
  • Voodoo Dolls
10/03/2013 at 20:57

As for Sports Direct I've had no problems with their accessories. I bought gloves, hydration belt and the illuminated armband which they sell (all Karrimor) however I wouldn't touch them for clothing as I'm a self confessed fashion victim.


@paulfromwire on twitter


11/03/2013 at 15:13


You can add a 'significant stake in Sweatshop' to your list of Sports direct enterprises.

Speeling terrible today sorry !

14/03/2013 at 12:35

I have several items of karrimor clothing and its all fine.

Just as I have several items of crane clothing which is also good!

Tommygun2    pirate
14/03/2013 at 13:11

I buy their running socks, very good value for money.

22/03/2013 at 12:01

Quick tip: went through my running gloves last week, and wanted a cheap replacement.

Was about to splash out on some luminous Karrimor ones for £6.99, but then by the checkout there was a display of bobble hats and earmuffs, and there I saw a pile of black Karrimor "liner gloves" for £2.99.

There's a stupidly placed label inside, but 5 mins of picking and sewing later they were absolutely perfect for what I wanted.

For training kit they're generally fine, but just a bit shoddy and ill-thought out round the edges at times. For instance on their running shorts, the rear zips aren't great and have a stupidly placed flap of fabric which very easily catches. Not ideal when you're about to hit the wall and have a gel stuck in there right by your tailpipe.

Also, I got one of their hi-vis running top, which is fine with a baselayer underneath, but the seams inside are like scratchy draught excluders. God knows what they'd do to flesh after a 10 mile run.

Tried on a pair of their cheapest running shoes for a laugh incidentally, and it was like putting a pair of clogs on. Not good to see them doing the hard sell on that line at the minute.

22/03/2013 at 16:10

I have loads of Karrimor kit - baselayers, tshirts, long sleeve tops, gilets, jackets - and I think it's all pretty well made and fantastic value for money. I don't wear their shorts, leggings or shoes but for up top I have no complaints about the stuff I've got.

Don't like the tactic of putting labels saying £38 on a gilet and pretending it's reduced to a tenner, when its actual price is just a tenner, but that's a gripe about marketing not about the actual product...

22/03/2013 at 20:46
I was wondering why Firetrap clothes had appeared in Sports Direct. Bought out of administration 10 months ago. Shame, I used to like Firetrap stuff. Will turn into cheap pikey shit now.
22/03/2013 at 21:15

Be very wary of Sports Direct "bargains". 

If Sports Direct market a product as being reduced from £40 to £8, then it only ever cost £8 in the first place. 

Basically they will increase the price of a product top an unrealistically high level in one store in Shirebrook, then they can legally claim that the product is reduced from that price over the rest of the country. 

There is no such thing as discounted Karrimor gear.  It is dirt cheap kit, that is sold at a standard price across the country. 

Edited: 22/03/2013 at 21:17
23/03/2013 at 09:51
Ben Davies 15 wrote (see)

Be very wary of Sports Direct "bargains". 

If Sports Direct market a product as being reduced from £40 to £8, then it only ever cost £8 in the first place. . 

hmm, perhaps on their own brands, but the £18 adidas track bottoms i bought last week are still £40 in every shop thats sells them besides SD. they are most likely seconds (could also be the stock they bought cheap from JJB going out of business) but still, the same pair is more than double the price esewhere, same goes for a lot of their puma and nike stuff. 

Edited: 23/03/2013 at 09:52
23/03/2013 at 10:44

Just to clarify Mark. 

Companies like Adidas and Nike won't let you pull those kind of stunts with their products.  If you did they would review your contract. 

Sports Direct lost their Asics contract because Asics go fed up of them selling their products well under the RRP, and cheapening the brand.  

If on the other hand Sports Direct own the contract, then it is virtually a foregone conclusion that the discount is bogus. 

23/03/2013 at 15:04

they do sell seconds though, as well as the huge range from JJB's liquidation, they can sell that stuff at whatever price they want, 


I'm not doubting you on most of their stock, but there are a lot of decent bargains in there, look at the England shirts, £10 when JD sports 2 doors away are selling the same shirts for £29. also a lot of their premium brand stuff is last years range, end of line, 

Edited: 23/03/2013 at 15:11
23/03/2013 at 16:24
'Cheapening the brand'? You mean refusing to participate in artificial price-hiking? Giving consumers better value? Not ripping us off to such a ridiculous degree?
23/03/2013 at 17:23

runs with dogs

I think you will find that Sports Direct's "better vale" is bought at a significant price in terms of their treatment of their staff and customers. 

23/03/2013 at 18:33
Can't comment on how they treat their staff, but I'm happy to put up with crap service from surly assistants if I'm getting my favourite trainers half price! I do know a young lad who worked in SD for a year and he seemed happy enough there...
23/03/2013 at 20:03

When I worked for them I was given the following instructions by an area manager:

1. To refuse to give refunds for faulty merchandise unless the customer found out that it was illegal to do this. 

2. To beat up anybody I caught shoplifting, and deny having seen them if the police came round asking about it. 

If we caught a member of staff stealing, we took their photograph and put it in an album called the GIT file, with a description of how they were punished.  This album was then circulated round the company to humiliate them.   

Now in fairness this was a few years ago, and there have been changes within the company since then, but make no mistake it is a pretty ruthless organisation. 

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