Some Nike products are being offered on the German and Spanish marketplaces of LIdl, one of the largest low-cost grocery retailers in Europe, raising some eyebrows. However, Nike released the following statement in reaction to a a report in the Spanish pres: ”Lidl is not a partner in Nike’s marketplace strategy and we are not selling product to their business.”

A spokeman for Nike would not say, however, whether it is in litigation with the giant German-based low-cost retailer. A spokesperson for Lidl declined to comment on its arrangements with Nike or the way in which the products have been obtained..

According to the Spanish media, Nike had announced a partnership with Lidl on a sportswear collection that is now sold exclusively online on the marketplace in at least two countries - Spain and Germany - but the Nike spokesman denied having made such an announcement.

The product line sold on Lidl’s Spanish marketplace comprises T-shirts, sweatshirts and trousers for men, sold at prices ranging from €11.99 to €39.99. The range offered on Lidl’s German website also includes a pair of football boots, discounted from €50.00 to €22.99. A pair of Nike sneakers has disappeared from the website. The items can still be viewed on the retailer’s websites for Germany and Spain.

We could not determine whether Lidl is selling Nike products in other countries. However, we found a pair of classical Adidas Originals sneakers offered on Lidl’s Belgian website for €59.99.

For Nike, which is eliminating many “undifferentiated” wholesale accounts, the move would seem to be a strange aspect of its strategy to strengthen its direct-to-consumer distribution channel. According to observers, it may have been prompted by the big supermarket operator’s apparent success with a line of cheap and colorful Lidl-branded sneakers, rubber boots and coordinated streetwear that it launched last summer. Reportedly, they sold out quickly on the resale market, fetching much higher prices. The sneakers resembled Nike’s Huarache model. Founded in Germany in 1930, Lidl has more than 10,000 stores around the world.