The enlargement of the European Union makes it easier for sporting goods brands to find their way into such countries as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, but it also makes it easier for discount supermarket chains that usually have no access to branded products to satisfy their needs in these emerging markets where the brands still have to get the supply chain under control.

One example of this problem is the emergence of Head skis in the German discount chain Lidl and of Fischer skis in Austrian low-price outlets of Penny. Widely advertised in the German press, the Head C220i ski with Tyrolia bindings is offered by Lidl for €259. The Penny offer in Austria is even more aggressive, proposing Fischer’s XTR 10 Pro ski with bindings for €199.

In the case of Head, the skis have supposedly been sourced through unknown trading channels in the Czech Republic. SGI hears that Intersport is thinking about taking legal steps, arguing the price offering is misleading as the consumer has to go to a sports store to have the bindings adjusted, involving extra costs that are not covered by the discount store’s offer.