Sports Direct has reportedly hiked prices of some of its sports equipment by more than 50% amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The chain has increased the price of items including skipping ropes, weights and resistance belts, according to documents seen by the PA news agency.

Because the company operates a system of having "ticket" prices, followed by "reduced" stickers, it can be unclear what price a product was ever sold at.

Pricing documents show that an Everlast 4kg kettlebell has gone up from £9.99 to £14.99 – although the sticker will still say the "original" ticket price was £19.99.

The cost of a 12kg kettlebell by Everlast, which is owned by Sports Direct's parent company Frasers Group, is now £39.99, up from £29.99.

Sports Direct today confirmed it won’t open its stores to the public, despite claiming it will defy Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown orders last night.

The change of heart follows a backlash against the company, owned by Newcastle chief Mike Ashley.

Frasers Group, which includes Sports Direct and Evans Cycles, wrote to all workers within 30 minutes of the Prime Minister’s briefing last night.

The firm’s finance Chief Chris Wootton said: “We stock a huge range of sports equipment designed for exercising at home…indeed home fitness is the number one trending topic on social media after coronavirus itself."

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He added: "Against the backdrop of the closure of gyms the demand for these types of products has increased exponentially as the population looks to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"Consequently, we are uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible during this crisis and thus our Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores will remain open where possible to allow us to do this in accordance with the Government's current social distancing guidance.

“There is no one else that has the range of product and range of stores to make this reasonably accessible for the whole population."

  • Sports Direct
  • Coronavirus

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