A major sports retailer claims it was forced to cut the cost of its All Blacks jerseys after adidas refused to drop its prices "by even one cent".
Rebel Sport today dropped the price of its Rugby World Cup edition All Blacks jersey from $220 to $170.
Its standard All Blacks' replica players jersey will drop from $189.99 to $149.50.
Managing director Rod Duke said the decision to reduce the prices was made because of the company's "dismay" at the adidas jerseys being available for less online than at New Zealand retailers.
He had met with adidas officials yesterday to ask them to reduce the jersey to below the price offered online.
"They point blank refused to reduce the price by even one cent. I just don't understand this position and have decided to make a stand for the benefit of the New Zealand sporting public."
Mr Duke said all New Zealanders had a stake in the Rugby World Cup and were entitled to merchandise at competitive prices.
"We happen to believe that this jersey belongs to the New Zealand rugby public. The NZRU are custodians on behalf of all of us and Adidas for the time being are the sponsors of this jersey.
They don't own it. We all do.
"We cannot have a situation where New Zealanders would pay more for All Black jerseys than almost any other country in the world.
"Quite frankly, this is an intolerable circumstance and we will not accept it."
Mr Duke said fans who had already bought a jersey at the previous price could claim a voucher for the price difference if they presented a receipt.
The price reduction was funded entirely by Rebel Sport, he said.
Adidas has refused to budge over the price of its jerseys, which had been retailing here for much more than could be bought overseas.
Yesterday it went on a public relations offensive, suggesting New Zealanders understood they were supporting local rugby when they bought a jersey and saying the price reflected adidas' investment in the game.
- Herald Online