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Swedish shop hits back: our Converse are real

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08:55 CEST+02:00
Swedish retailer Coop has refuted complaints by US sneaker brand Converse that Coop stores are selling unauthorized pirated copies of the iconic footwear.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Converse, which is owned by Nike, had asked a Stockholm court for permission to search through five of Coop's stores where it believed pirated Converse sneakers were being sold.

But Coop later rejected Converse's piracy accusations, claiming that the shoes on sale at Coop Forum stores in Bäckebol, Norrköping, Skövde and Skara were the genuine articles.

"We're very surprised that they would go forward in this way and ignore the documentation we sent to them when we first heard about the accusations that we were selling pirated copies of Converse shoes," Coop spokeswoman Marika Hjelm Siegwald told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

"It's not true," she added, explaining that a law firm has helped Coop obtain certificates of authenticity from the manufacturers.

The complaints emerged after Converse noticed that Coop was selling its wares for about 399 kronor ($60), half of the usual retail price of 799 kronor ($120).

Experts from the company purchased several pairs of the popular canvas trainers and sent them to the US where further inspection revealed the shoes lacked a serial number combination used as a security measure.

But Hjelm Siegwald maintained that the Converse shoes on sale at Coop do in fact have the numbers.

"We have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the Converse shoes we're selling in our stores. We have documentation that proves the shoes are real and trust our suppliers," she told the Metro newspaper.

On Tuesday, the Stockholm District Court granted permission to Converse to enter Coop stores and obtain samples of the shoes in order to determine if further legal action is required.

However, the court refused to allow all the shoes to be confiscated.

"We're going to continue to sell the shoes because we're sure they are real," Hjelm Siegwald told SvD.

"Why Converse is doing this to us is a good question, but we don't know. It's not like the price in itself is an indication of a product's authenticity."

The Local/dl

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