Is the current sentence from CNBC grammatical?

Nike has sold out of all of its Kobe Bryant merchandise online, following the tragic death of the basketball legend on Sunday, a spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.

I am referring to the usage of the expression “sold out of”.

Shouldn’t the sentence be:

Nike has sold out all of its merchandise....


Nike (site) was sold out of its merchandise..

  • I think that CNBCs usage is correct - its "xxx is sold out of <something>", or "xxx has sold all of its <something>" or "xxx have sold all of their <something>". The collins dictionary at collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sold-out also reference the "sold out of" usage. If you put the subject/person/shop first then you need to use "of" (like "Kripsy Kreme is sold out of doughnuts". If you put the item first then you do not need "of" (like "Kobe Bryant mechandise is sold out [at Nike]"
    – Paul
    Jan 28, 2020 at 19:47
  • 3
    I would write Nike is sold out of all its merchandise; that is, 'sold out' is an adjective. Jan 28, 2020 at 19:49
  • @MichaelHarvey - I agree, but the original sentence is “has sold out of” its merchandise. Is that usage correct?
    – user79638
    Jan 28, 2020 at 19:53
  • 3
    @Gio - it is, in my opinion, an error. Jan 28, 2020 at 19:54
  • @MichaelHarvey I'm surprised that you think so. "The corner shop has sold out of bread" is a perfectly standard usage to me (UK, 60+). Jan 28, 2020 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


No. The phrasal verb sell out, already has the "all" in its meaning, and it does not take a direct object: it can take an indirect object with of.


If you look into the Collins dictionary for a meaning of sell out of (please see here), then you can find the following example:

If a store sells out of a product, it sells its entire stock leaving none for customers to buy.

So, saying

Nike has sold out of all of its Kobe Bryant merchandise online.

is idiomatic and grammatically correct.

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