John Lewis, Debenhams & House of Fraser didn't push-up the price of sports bras

The Competition & Markets Authority has decided the department stores didn't collude with the maker of the Shock Absorber.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 10 Oct 2014

John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser are all going to be feeling perkier this morning, after the Competition & Markets Authority decided they didn’t collude with DB Apparel to fix the price of its Shock Absorber sports bras.

Back in September, the CMA (then in its former guise as the Office of Fair Trading) launched a formal investigation into whether the bra maker had made nine ‘anti-competitive deals’ with the department stores between 2008 and 2011.

During that period, the Shock Absorber supported 15% of the sports bra market, enhanced by adverts featuring Russian tennis player-cum-model Anna Kournikova, with the hilarious tagline, ‘Only the ball should bounce’.

The retailers said at the time they hadn’t done anything wrong and were in suitably ebullient third-person (company?) form today.

‘We welcome the CMA’s decision to exonerate John Lewis… We appreciate the swift and thorough work of the CMA,’ John Lewis said, while House of Fraser positively gushed about how ‘delighted’ it was.

Debenhams and DB Apparel didn’t reply to requests for comment, but MT is sure they’re feeling bouncy.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When should you step down as CEO?

Bob Iger's departure poses an unpopular question for bosses.

The death and resurrection of the premium customer

Top-end service is no longer at the discretion of the management.

What HS2 can teach you about project failure

And how you can prevent projects going astray.

35 Women Under 35 2020: Nominations open

Management Today's 35 Women Under 35 showcases the country's rising stars in business. Here's how...

Practical steps for breaking silos

Briefing: Adam Williams, former CEO of influencer marketing agency Takumi, shares what he has learned...

The Power 50: Proof that you can be a part-time CEO

Just a few years ago, executives were reluctant to admit they worked part-time for fear...