Everton announce wider availability of team strips

06/10/2015  94 Comments  [Jump to last]
Under an agreement with kit-supplier Kitbag, Everton strips will soon go on sale in select locations nationwide.

Currently, the only way for supporters to buy the team's kits has been at the club megastores, Everton One outside Goodison Park and Everton Two in the Liverpool One shopping centre, and online but that will be changing later this month.

A club statement announced that Everton's home, away and third strips will go on sale in JD Sports stores in Liverpool, Manchester, Cheshire, Gatwick Airport and London.

The move is a response to complaints from supporters at the lack of availability and visibility of Everton merchandise outside of the two megastores.  

Reader Comments (94)

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James Morgan
1 Posted 06/10/2015 at 19:51:03
Well, maybe after years of not listening to the fans the club is starting to take notice. A step in the right direction.
Ian McDowell
2 Posted 06/10/2015 at 19:59:23
Jesus Christ!!! I wish I had thought of this. What a forward thinking marketing department we have. Well done, Mr Elstone and your team, thoroughly deserve your 6-figure salaries.
Dave Ganley
3 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:01:04
Better late than never. Pleasantly surprised that the club is starting to listen to the fans. I don't really care whether it's a reaction to all the bad press, the fly-bys or whatever. It's definitely a step in the right direction.
Paul Carroll
4 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:01:14
Looks like our new commercial team of McTavish and Roche are already readdressing the poor deals that Earle negotiated. It's about time the club took more people on board to sort out our quite embarrassing commercial performance.

I hope these guys continue to make steps forward like they are already showing. You couldn't even buy an Everton top in John Lennon Airport but you could buy a Man City one, embarrassing.

Paul Jeronovich
5 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:01:57
Everton selling shirts in Liverpool, whatever next!!
Chris Williamson
6 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:03:59
Be still my beating heart. This capitalist system of "deals" isn't very far different from communism in its results. These highly controlled tee-shirts are now to be allowed out of Liverpool. My nearest supply is still 80 miles away though.

Utter, utter, utter idiotic short-sightedness.

Ian Bennett
7 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:07:57
A step forward.

Not sure what the position in the USA is, but nothing is more gutting than seeing loads of Premier League shirts on sale in Florida and nothing from the Blues.

John Keating
8 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:13:45
Bit of a surprise, all these announcements about our commercial operations. I mean, we've been run for years by these so-called Captains of Industry who are doing their utmost to maximise our full commercial potential.

These experts who are, by the way, fully supported in their endeavours by a number of our fellow supporters. Amazing that a few numbskull supporters may well have been right slagging off the Board for their pathetic efforts.

Mark Stone
9 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:27:10
I never understood when people said they couldn't get hold of the kit. Can't you buy it from the online store and have it delivered pretty much anywhere in the world, with just a few clicks?
Phil Bellis
10 Posted 06/10/2015 at 20:33:01

Buying sight unseen and paying shipping across the world? Better like the look, fabric, feel, quality, sizing when it arrives...

Chris Corn
11 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:06:03
I have to agree with Ian at 5. I was in downtown Disneyland last month and they had a kit shop. No Everton, despite the fact we have probably the most recognisable USA player in Howard.
David Pearl
12 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:25:27
I ordered an away shirt a couple of years ago into Canada and it was marked around the collar as though it was already worn.

Sizing is also important... especially the fitting around the middle-aged belly... I can only breath in for so long.

The more shirts you can get hanging in stores around the world, the better – for obvious reasons. No matter your opinion on all things Everton and how it's run, this Kitbag deal was seriously flawed – a real head-shaker if ever there was one.

Craig Fletcher
13 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:40:06
Mark, I have to agree with Phil (7).

I'm in New Zealand and have ordered Everton stuff online before; but of course you also end up paying a small fortune in shipping fees.

On my occasional travels to the UK I've also bought from Everton Two in the Liverpool One shopping centre, and trust me it is a) cheaper, and b) at least you get to see the physical thing you want before you buy.

Barry McNally
14 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:43:03
Everton, welcome to the 20th century!
Barry McNally
15 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:44:00
Try and break into the 21st now!
Karl Masters
16 Posted 06/10/2015 at 21:45:28
Wonders will never cease!

But, and it's a big 'but' (as big as Kim Kardashian's butt in fact) we have to sell in key foreign locations as well.

It's not about the sales, it's about raising the Club's profile.

Lewis Barclay
17 Posted 06/10/2015 at 22:39:38
Gatwick Airport is a good one, I think. I can't believe EFC kits aren't available at all international airports in the UK. (As said, not sales but profile.)
Garry Corgan
18 Posted 06/10/2015 at 22:45:40
Better late than never? No. An admission, as if one were needed, that our merchandising policy has been very wrong for many years.
John Raftery
19 Posted 06/10/2015 at 22:50:57
Our profile is dependent on success on the pitch. Without that, the kits will not sell and will not generate interest wherever they are stocked. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, this development means for the Kitbag deal.
Graham Mockford
20 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:02:21
I have to laugh, this is just a little bit of PR because the club have picked up on the negative feedback that's been around.

This will make absolutely fuck all difference to anyone. Kitbag will sell a few shirts more but probably a very little profit, Everton will get zero because we are on a fixed fee.

John Rafferty is right, you build a brand by on field success, not by selling replica shirts. The 'Kitbag deal is shit' is one of those statements many people now accept as fact. The commercial truth is it is a decent no risk arrangement for the club.

Eddie Dunn
21 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:22:46
Does anyone know how long we are tied into the deal with Kitbag?
Graham Mockford
22 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:29:27

It runs until 2019. Everton had the opportunity to exit last year upon Kitbag's request but they declined.

Minik Hansen
23 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:31:13
With this step, I hope people new to the fabric will be stunned (positively) that such a kit exists, one they have never seen or touched and they just must have! (In that sense better late than never I suppose .. ;) ..)
Anthony Dwyer
24 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:39:39
We must be the slowest club commercially that ever graced the planet. Sell the kit in more locations simply increases kit sales, it is that simple.John Lennon Airport is a must.
Graham Mockford
25 Posted 06/10/2015 at 23:55:33

Why do you think Kitbag don't sell shirts at JL airport? They are a retail business specialising in sports merchandise.

What retail missions do you think could be satisfied?

What percentage of people going through JL airport have not already had the opportunity to buy a replica shirt? If I live in Liverpool, I can buy one easily. If I'm a tourist, I've probably been to Liverpool One.

So you are basically looking at the impulse purchase. Sure you could sell a few but you are not going to make a fortune from it and you could easily lose money.

Just a question: How many replica shirts do you think Kitbag sell and what do you think is the unlimited potential?

Phil Sammon
26 Posted 07/10/2015 at 00:31:15

The reason JL Airport is a must is because of the exposure it provides. At the moment, any uneducated tourist assumes Liverpool is a one-club city.

The airport should publicise the best of the city and for me that is the two huge football clubs and the Beatles.

I can't believe it's even a debate. What other club doesn't sell its kits in its own city's international airport?!?! Even Espanyol do and they are playing second fiddle to Barcelona.

Absolutely ridiculous!

Christine Foster
27 Posted 07/10/2015 at 00:37:26
Graham, Sales 101: if there is demand you need to fulfill, then do so. Marketing? Product, Placement, Price, location...

No risk? No vision, no commercial nouse, no strategy to increase sales or take advantage of the attributes we do have. You think it's no risk so it's a good deal? If you don't take an opportunity, you lose money. If you don't make an opportunity, you lose more.

Kitbag spend zero on promotion, zero on placement and have a captured market at a price they set. No risk.

Meanwhile the bloody customer outside of Liverpool is left with the Internet. Ever heard of impulse buys? No? No surprise there then...

Andy Crooks
28 Posted 07/10/2015 at 00:50:06
This is a serious question: Is there much money to be made in replica shirts?

I have friends who wear them; I couldn't. When I was a kid, I liked the Arsenal kit, red top with, eventually, pink sleeves.

Eric Myles
29 Posted 07/10/2015 at 00:59:24
I wonder how many of our fans fly into Gatwick for a home game?

Liverpool on the other hand probably have 'plane loads.

Julian Wait
30 Posted 07/10/2015 at 02:39:56
You miss out on opportunistic sales by not having presence in the specialist soccer shops. And lack of presence means lack of credibility as a "big club". You can get Spurs shirts and Villa shirts and Newcastle shirts, but not Everton shirts. So which is the biggest club of those four including us?

Also, people over here in the US will sometimes have more a favourite player than a favourite club. They will buy shirts of those players. And then they wear the short out and about, creating a marketing presence.

It's not rocket science, but they don't understand the world market and how powerful it is becoming.

Once Barkley starts playing consistently on the highlight reel, some midfield playing kids / adults in the US may decide to buy his club shirt. But they - or more likely their soccer mom or dad - still won't be able to find our shirts in the stores.

This really needs to be fixed if we're to be perceived as a big club or even an also ran. And once Howard leaves, and even now as he is no longer a shoo-in first pick for USMNT and on a club level decline (imho), it's going to get even harder unless we fix this, and soon.

Bill Lai
31 Posted 07/10/2015 at 02:42:10
Everton selling shirts in Liverpool. Wow.

New Stadium Next?

Ralph Basnett
32 Posted 07/10/2015 at 07:12:59
They are only making the shirts more available because there is a demand that will have been getting monitored and not because Everton have disgruntled fans who do not believe in their commercial acumen.

Both Kitbag and Everton have a deal which works for them, Everton in that they get a standard annual income that they are happy with that never changes, and Kitbag as they can do supply and demand as they see fit, Currently Everton are playing well and there is a bigger demand; a few bad results and no shirts in JD Sports, we will think they have sold out but outside of Liverpool the fan base for the young floating fan is fickle, and they change like the wind.

And then Christmas is around the corner, try finding an Everton shirt in JD Sports in February...

Brian Cleveland
33 Posted 07/10/2015 at 07:29:45
Mark (#9), it's not just about supporters buying shirts, of course we'll go the extra mile to get ours. (I've now waited over a year for last year's kit ordered over the internet and it still hasn't arrived!) It's also about visibility and the possibility of unexpected sales and making new fans. Our name has to be known for people to start supporting us.

I live in Colombia and the sports shops here have about 6 teams' shirts, the usual suspects, but no chance of an Everton shirt. The locals, unless already a supporter of one of the clubs will go and buy a shirt they like the look of, and hence give that team more visibility, and they start looking out for the results too, start watching the games live on TV, etc.

You are thinking in a very narrow way, that it is only existing fans that will buy the kit. I'm sick to death of people seeing my blue shirt and saying "Chelseaaaaaaaaa" until I show them the badge and they look confused... we need the presence to make us grow, and we can't do that without selling the damn shirts all over the globe. There is no point in us being on the box more over here if the people who decide they like us can't then go and get the shirt. Colombians like their football, and the guys who play generally have a shirt of a club from each of the major European leagues, and we're losing out, simply because we aren't represented in the sports shops.

While this announcement is a step to improve things, it really is an extremely tiny step and goodness knows what concession the club had to give to allow this change to what seemed a very restrictive contract. World sales of our kits have been completely and utterly strangled, you don't get opportunistic internet sales. (And practically NOBODY buys over the internet in Latin America anyway, there is still a large distrust that things will arrive, and with good reason!)

The internet channel is in general used only by fans, and generates revenue only within that small audience, it doesn't bring in new fans, it doesn't generate awareness and visibility.

Graham Mockford
34 Posted 07/10/2015 at 08:17:44
There seem to be two big assumptions going on here:

Firstly, a wide distribution of Everton shirts would increase sales due to ease of purchase and impulse sales. Yes, Christine I am familiar with the concept having worked in retailing for 30 years. This is undoubtedly true but the costs associated with doing so would not necessarily make you any more profit. And in my opinion most likely lose you money.

Secondly, an exposure of Everton shirts in retail outlets is going to increase our fan base. Again this is flawed. This is not how the vast majority of people are exposed to the football club. The majority will become aware as a result of watching TV. Success on the field will increase the fan base.

Andy Crooks asks a relevant question: How much is there to be made? My best estimate would be a retail merchandise business that could generate 㾻m turnover. (I base that on selling 200,000 replica shirts a year plus other merchandise.) But that is turnover, not profit. Making a net profit of 20% would be going some. Therefore ١m a year with no risk, no infrastructure and no cash tied up is not a terrible deal.

Alan Williams
35 Posted 07/10/2015 at 08:21:50
Marketing is a tricky area and sometimes the obvious is not always the route taken. The EFC deal with Kitbag did initially register a ١.5 million gain to its bottom line once signed, so the deal was good; the problem was the length of the contract, in my view. I'm pretty certain this deal with JD is based on sale or return with an agreed discounted price probably from late December/January which is normal if you want product in headline stores for JD.

No matter what side of the fence you take on this subject, sales will determine if it's rolled out further or recalled in full, so let's see what comes back before people start patting each other on back for raising the subject. EFC had stores in Liverpool and the Wirral before and both were closed due to poor sales so to get the product flying off the shelves we need to attract more than the loyal fans that post on here.

Overseas is a different issue and I'm not sure why they don't use outlets or a licensee for distribution as this would be much easier but they must be prepaid to invest in this as the return would probably be negative for a minimum of 18/24 months.

I would like to see EFC being bold, especially in the US, and try and do a deal backed with a product endorsement that is aligned to US soccer so, for example, buy "pay TV" full package and receive free Premier League shirt. This would get the brand to the market place very quickly and in that delivery you can add some details about EFC history, website and local fan club.

That would get new customers/fans viewing EFC and hopefully buying in to the brand. Again this would be a limited campaign with say 100,000 tops available so you could then monitor the trends and response meaning your next move can be a little more targeted.

Again this all takes investment and EFC balance sheet isn't awash with spare cash so easier said than done sometimes, the future is about the new fan in this field not fans like me that wouldn't even wear a replica shirt, even if given one free!!

Let's see what the next 24 months bring but at least it's a start.

Phil Sammon
36 Posted 07/10/2015 at 08:58:54

'Success on the field will increase the fan base.'

It IS a terrible deal then. The money we receive from Kitbag is considerably less than teams who we regularly outperform.

The fact that it operates 'without infrastructure' should not be celebrated either. Just like every other piece of infrastructure this board inherited, it has been hurried out the door for a quick buck. Long-term planning? Who cares about that?

Ryan O'Hanlon
37 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:09:42
What is disappointing is that it has taken 6 years for this to happen. What other business could ignore a huge source of revenue as well as customer satisfaction for that long and survive?

There have been numerous opportunities during this time for the club to take advantage of, namely our European campaigns, and probably most significantly, Tim Howard's success in the 2014 World Cup. Whilst outsourcing maybe beneficial to keep costs down etc, you do wonder why more influence from the club hasn't been put under Kitbag to capitalise on these opportunities.

Graham Mockford
38 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:31:03

Enlighten me. Which teams are getting more that we outperform?

Liam Reilly
39 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:42:38
Graham (#33),

"A wide distribution of Everton shirts would increase sales due to ease of purchase and impulse sales."

Answer = YES... if strategically placed.

JD Sports flagship store over here sells all the usual suspects and even that Giant Borussia Dortmund but not an Everton mug in sight.

If I want to purchase from the Megastore, it's close to €100 for the shirt, including postage. Ludicrous.

Craig Walker
40 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:47:58
So the excuse about selling kits being a loss-making venture for the club unless they are sold in 2 outlets in the city is true or false then?

When I tried to get my 4-year-old son a shirt last season at Everton Two, they had nothing whatsoever in his size. I might be able to jump on a train and try my luck in London now though.

John Raftery
41 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:50:12
My guess is that the kits will sell in ones outside Liverpool. I very much doubt there is a large worldwide fan base waiting for the opportunity to buy our shirts.

In the days less than a decade ago when you could buy them in JJB Sports outlets in Liverpool and further afield, the shops ended up trying to shift them at a huge discount. Even now on Merseyside, many fans wait for the Everton One and Everton Two shops to launch their sales before purchasing.

People looking at kits in shops out of curiosity is not worth a carrot.

Colin Glassar
42 Posted 07/10/2015 at 09:58:28
John, there is huge interest in premier league football in Asia, Africa and North America. I'm sure not every African, Asian and Yank wants to follow the usual suspects but, if they can't get hold of a shirt or a club trinket, how on earth are we ever going to maintain their interest in or love for the team?

Peter Weaver
43 Posted 07/10/2015 at 10:01:50
I've always suspected that outside the Sky Four/Five, very few clubs make huge profits from merchandise. Most of us wait for price cuts before purchasing and until Everton can boast back to back Prem titles, sales are unlikely to increase much beyond present levels.

I remember a guy who had a sports shop in Southport telling me he was sick of stocking Everton shirts to see them 'rot on the hangers' !

John Raftery
44 Posted 07/10/2015 at 10:17:38
Colin, I agree there is huge interest but the overwhelming majority will only be interested in following our club and buying our shirts when we start finishing above the big clubs and winning trophies.
Eric Myles
45 Posted 07/10/2015 at 10:54:51
Not true John #41, I doubt that many of the Thai Everton fans over here started following Everton because we have been winning trophies.

Or the US or Aussie fans.

Sean Lennon
46 Posted 07/10/2015 at 11:03:48
I've felt compelled to join, this is clearly where all the educated Everton fans hang out, this is my first post so play nice.

There are a lot of very valid points here. I myself live in Nottingham; all of my kits are ordered on pre-sale and I just "hope they are nice". I've had kits in the past that are just okay... so I take on board the ability to touch and feel and try something on. In the Nike days, the sizes were way out compared to Umbro.

The point about appealing to a wider audience is a great one; Let's think about it in another way: we have basketball kits in our shops... I'd assume that most people can recognise a Chicago Bulls or LA Lakers top or Miami Heat and they will be purchased in this country because you may not support them as a diehard fan but you want a basketball top and you know the team. I'd love to see all the Everton kits in retail outlets; when I see Newcastle and Aston Villa shirts available, it does my head in.

Airports are a good start, I guess. Even if a purchase isn't made, the familiarity with the badge and colour may be enough to encourage a new breed of fans, thus making the brand a better and wider source of income.

That said, we're years behind most clubs when it comes to marketing and brand building. Even the Turkish fakers can't be bothered to make our shirt. (I was checking for research purposes, I promise!)

Keep up the great comments on here. I can see this becoming addictive...

Colin Glassar
47 Posted 07/10/2015 at 11:10:28
That's what I was thinking Eric. There were loads of Singaporean Blues out there and they could hardly be called glory hunters, could they?

I understand where John is coming from but we don't even make the effort to sell ourselves as a club.

Kevin Tully
48 Posted 07/10/2015 at 11:21:00
Just from the posts on this site alone, surely it's a good thing we are making kits more widely available to purchase? I'm no expert, but this looks like the recent new commercial appointments have identified an existing problem and addressed it.

If we do ever reach the Champions League proper, then this is a start which may raise our profile. My main concern would be that we would still receive the ١m from merchandising no matter how well we do. As far as I'm aware, the deal with Kitbag is for all official club merchandise, not jut kit sales.

Does anyone know the percentage kit sales would represent compared to our whole merchandise operation? Anyone who's recently purchased a few mugs, mouse-mats, tee shirts, slippers etc. will know what I mean. 㿞 doesn't get you much.

Michael Polley
49 Posted 07/10/2015 at 12:06:29
I remember a few years ago when we qualified for the Champions League Everton shirts started appearing in certain sports shops. I couldn't believe it, but then they just disappeared again when we failed to qualify the following season!!!
Tony J Williams
50 Posted 07/10/2015 at 12:34:34
Whilst we are still tied in with Kitbag, this is only good for the fans and them.

The club don't get any more revenue, they get the same fixed seasonal payment.

i would imagine it would be more Kitbag's idea than our PR department.

It was when we had the Nike kit, their shops could sell the kit too.

Thomas Lennon
51 Posted 07/10/2015 at 12:47:56
I largely agree with Graham that the 'egotistical' presence of shirts for sale in places other than Liverpool 1 does not guarantee profits and might well incur losses - for Kitbag.

This exposes the shortcomings of the present deal - we have outsourced financial risk (a good thing) but one symptom of this has been that the only time we see Everton's image out and about is when there is a shirt selling opportunity rather than a 'status' point to be made. If we aren't prominently featured on large advertising hoardings at local airports or 'footy locations' abroad alongside our competitors then we should be - but that is a job for club PR, not sales.

Much is written about the current deal here: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/Evertons-kitbag-deal-analysed-good-9559038

Phil Bellis
52 Posted 07/10/2015 at 13:23:06
The lack of Everton presence in our own city is a bloody disgrace. The centre of town has become a vibrant, cosmopolitan area — it's like a mini-capital city; French, Spanish, German, Japanese tourists all over the place.

"Welcome to Liverpool: home of the Beatles and Liverpool Football Club"


Colin Glassar
53 Posted 07/10/2015 at 13:45:41
The stalls have a few Everton scarfs and such, Phil, but the majority of their merchandise is red and it makes my blood boil and my stomach churn!!
John Hughes
54 Posted 07/10/2015 at 14:32:20
But where in Wirral and Cheshire? I remember Elsmere Port and Chester.

The one in Chester was taken over by Liverpool when we dealt with JD sports; instead of Everton Blue carrier bags being carried around Eastgate Street, the other lot were being carried around. The point being, there are a lot of North and Mid Wales shoppers in Chester so I hope one outlet re-appears there.

Karl Masters
55 Posted 07/10/2015 at 18:26:17
Graham Mockford: You really are showing a mind numbing lack of imagination in your arguments.

As a number of Evertonians living abroad are telling you on this thread, the way fans become fans abroad is that they see a team doing well (not necessarily winning trophies, but playing well with good players, beating the top teams fairly consistently and with an ethos they like, eg, Everton) and they want to show their allegiance.

The next step, especially for younger fans, is to buy a team shirt and wear it as leisurewear. If they can't buy one in a local shop, they either lose a bit of interest, perhaps think we are a bit small-time and lose a bit of interest, or reconsider their team and choose one whose shirt is available.

People wearing shirts raises awareness. This is part of the snowball that can build up as time goes on and makes a team bigger and bigger.

Now, you may have been in retailing for 30 years, and funnily enough, so have I. Your first rule is to listen to what your customers want. There have seen countless fans on ToffeeWeb alone, especially from the English speaking world complaining they can't buy a shirt in their country. They don't like the postage costs and the want to see before they buy.

I don't know what business you are in, but in mine we sometimes do things that don't necessarily make money, but raise awareness and build the brand and the name of the business. It's called seeing the Bigger Picture.

If teams like Newcastle, Spurs, Villa and Celtic can get their shirts all over the World, just what are Everton so scared of? Corner Shop mentality.

I read we have 3 wise men appointed to the Commercial Dept in Sunday's programme. Maybe one of them has come in and thrown his hands up at this Kitbag nonsense and done something (albeit limited) about it? As for you Graham, you need to stop being so cautious and narrow-minded. I bet you wear a cardigan and slippers!

Joe Foster
56 Posted 07/10/2015 at 18:51:00
I buy all my clothes online. That's why my trousers are about 4 inches too short on the leg and my shirts too long in the arms. Ah well... at least when I stuff paper in my shoes, they fit okay.
Peter Gorman
57 Posted 07/10/2015 at 18:53:26
Don't worry Jpe, when my mum buys my clothes they end up just as mismatched.
Eric Holland
58 Posted 07/10/2015 at 20:06:23
Maybe all the other Premier League teams have got it wrong then! Maybe they should just sell their shirts in the club shop!

Do you not think an Everton shirt with Howard or Donovan on the back would appeal to American kids who are passing through Gatwick airport? It's a step in the right direction in my opinion.

Graham Mockford
59 Posted 07/10/2015 at 20:36:08
Karl Masters,

You are living in cloud cuckoo land. How many locations outside of the United Kingdom could possibly have sufficient demand to justify stocking a range of Everton football shirts?

Just pop down to your local sports shop and see if you can buy a Lyon shirt or a Dynamo Zagreb top or even a Porto one. All currently playing in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

You won't find one because the commercial reality is there is no money to be made for the supplier or the retailer.

This phony argument that there are a legion of young people out there that would swell our fan base if only they had access to a replica shirt is laughable.

Funnily enough, I have been in downtown Dakar today and I came across a stall selling replica shirts. Now quite obviously these were fakes so the stall holder, quite an entrepreneurial type, has no Kitbag restrictions... but guess what: no Everton shirts. What an unimaginative short-sighted guy he was, could he not see the bigger picture? Why sell Barca, Madrid, Man Utd and Chelsea shirts when there is this huge untapped market for Everton shirts? I was going to tell him but he was a big fucker.

I wouldn't describe myself as cautious and narrow-minded and as for my choice of footwear, I'm actually wearing my new vintage Grand Slams bought off the internet because, although I really wanted them, those inconsiderate bastards at Adidas are not prepared to listen to what this customer wants and stock them in Manchester.

Christine Foster
60 Posted 07/10/2015 at 21:18:39

I appreciate your argument, but if there is no visibility, there is no demand.

Whilst I agree you cannot flood the commercial market space, the lack of any presence in key sectors will mean there is no demand, therefore no demand means no need... So it becomes a justifiable argument that is self-supportive. That is your premise of your justification.

We need to raise brand awareness in areas where other EPL clubs are selling. Give the customer a choice. We need to sell into markets where we have a particular sporting attachment or agreement. That's an overseas player or sponsor.

We need to make it easier for those who are looking to buy and have no idea they can only get it from one location online. We need to form particular strategic commercial partnerships to sell our strips in regions where EPL interest is booming. We need to physically market the strips and the club and players at events both here and overseas, for brand awareness and follow-on sales. Btw, a lot of the suggested activity is tax deductible! Especially overseas marketing activities.

The objective is not just to sell shirts, it's to raise brand awareness, support, and our image. Failure to do so will ensure we are forever viewed as a small-time operator with no corporate strategy, no brand awareness and no commercial leverage. In fact doing nothing more than we are doing will ensure commercial failure, reaffirm our small-time ambition and give doubt to any prospective buyer that there is any value in this club.

On a broader perspective, the lack of any cohesive, innovative or innovative commercial strategy, no communicatable vision leads to exactly where we are today.

Define the logic... We have only sold X number of shirts, therefore there is no demand. You cannot find shirts for sale, therefore we did not sell many shirts, hence no demand. You can only buy online, if they have them in stock, hence no demand elsewhere.

Chicken or egg... Speculate to accumulate, who are we?

Kevin Tully
61 Posted 07/10/2015 at 21:47:53
This piece (from the first page of Google) makes for interesting reading. Aston Villa have a huge presence in Dublin of all places. I'm sure we could outstrip that demand with all the Irish players in our squad. It just emphasises the requirement for merchandise to be sold in actual shops to me.


Graham Mockford
62 Posted 07/10/2015 at 21:48:59

You make some well thought-out observations without the need to question my type of footwear.

My big question in all this is: What is the size of the prize and would the effort and risk involved be worth it? Are there really strategic partnerships abroad to sell merchandise that would represent a sizeable commercial opportunity for anyone? Is building brand awareness predicated on selling replica shirts?

If we are looking purely at commercial revenue, my gut is not to focus on merchandise but to either find a new stadium or redevelop GP, the revenue potential there dwarfs anything that could be made selling shirts. And guess what? Having 50k every home game would do more for shirt sales than being able to buy one in Shitsville, Wyoming. To this end, our Board has failed and it is the single biggest blight on their record.

Whatever brand awareness means in context of a football club, the single biggest factor in awareness is TV exposure. The PL is the widest watched sporting competition globally. I travel in Africa extensively and whoever I talk to who follows football knows about Everton. Start winning a few things and you will enhance your brand much more than any PR driven or commercial activity could ever achieve,

Joe Foster
63 Posted 07/10/2015 at 22:07:06
On brand awareness. Anyone watched the trailer for the new Rocky movie "Creed"?
Graham Mockford
64 Posted 07/10/2015 at 22:20:46

Great point, we should target cinemas. Just as you are buying your pick 'n' mix (have as many flying saucers as you want) we could strategically locate some Everton merchandise. I for one would love a pair of those Tony Bellew boxing shorts.

Nicholas Ryan
65 Posted 07/10/2015 at 00:20:29
On the subject of kits, I couldn't help thinking of the legendary (Birkenhead) band: Half-Man Half-Biscuit, and their immortal line: '...All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague away kit...'

After a bit of fiddling around with the internet: Yes .... It IS both easier and cheaper to buy a Dukla Prague away kit, than an Everton home kit! Ah well, such is life!

Seriously, it can't be coincidence, that this announcement comes the day after the new marketing team is appointed.

Ian Jones
66 Posted 08/10/2015 at 06:31:48
Okay. Generalisation coming up and putting aside the commercial aspect of any deals. The opportunity to see Everton merchandise in as many places as possible can only be a good thing.

I feel sure if Everton were to win the Premier League title on goal difference there would be people on here complaining we hadn't won it outright.

Alan Williams
67 Posted 08/10/2015 at 08:52:07
Christine, Graham,

You both have some valid points when it comes to Marketing but we must step back from buying kits in your local shop; we aren't in a position to be anywhere near that retail saturation and that comes from on-the-field success and, yes, brand awareness; they run hand in hand.

I would like to point out branding failures of our club. Yes, I will actually criticise it on this point because a lot of our USP have been negative or even parochial but I will explain why.

All major sporting brands have identity, and that identity comes from the name, which is normally backed by the location of the team, which is instantly recognisable to the customer or potential new customer, so this makes it easier for them to buy in to the brand. We have no such connection, which is very unusual when it comes to sporting marketing. All the top brands like New York Yankees, Man Utd, Real Madrid and Barcelona all have this... even the Red Shite across the park. We don't, so we need on-the-pitch success to back that up more and we haven't had that.

Chelsea & Arsenal have had a decade plus of success backed with massive retail and brand awareness marketing. Chelsea Samsung and Arsenal Emirates – these global brands use the team to make their product visual to the masses. Chang doesn't offer that coverage and offers very little added value benefits other than the cash injection every year.

We need to break this scenario if we want to start making in roads in new areas. That will take a massive investment in retail which will lose money, that is guaranteed for at least 2/3 years or better on the pitch activities.

The stadium issue also highlights EFC failings, they all come back to lack of funds, hence why we are where we are and the Club push the parochial markets with slogans like, "The Peoples Club", "If you know your history", "Evertonians go the game", "Chosen" – all these are great when you have already bought in to Family EFC but add nothing whatsoever when you are trying to encourage a new fan base away from the NW England, Hence why out of football most people haven't heard of us, never mind know what City we are based in.

It's not as easy as you all think but some basic changes will help that and I would start with a global brand shirt sponsor even if it means less cash but more exposure. Naturally, winning a pot or two would help.

Phil Bellis
68 Posted 08/10/2015 at 15:23:19
The club don't listen, though, Alan, and seldom respond to suggestions for which they've not paid a braces-wearing (suspenders for our US friends), shirt-sleeve garter-toting consultant loadsamoney.

Many missed "spreading awareness" of who/what we are and our place in the history of the game opportunities.

Graham Mockford
69 Posted 08/10/2015 at 19:30:08

Securing a big global sponsor I guess would be difficult. Because they have the big bucks they choose the successful teams. I have to keep coming back to my point that it is success on the field that is the key to raising commercial revenues, not the other way around. Start qualifying for the CL on a regular basis and suddenly all your commercial arrangements are in a whole different ball game.

I agree with you when you talk about our brand positioning, all this guff about history and heritage is what is best described in marketing speak as 'preaching to ourselves'.

I think it would make more sense to position ourselves as a 'challenger brand'. We are the team that is ambitious and wants to break through.

Karl Masters
70 Posted 08/10/2015 at 20:33:49
Apologies for insulting your sartorial choices, Graham. I shouldn't have done that.

However, I still feel you are missing the point that kit sales away from Merseyside are not about making money, but raising exposure. Alan and Christine explain this far more eloquently than me.

I don't doubt there is little or no demand for Everton shirts in Dakar, but in countries that have their nationals playing for Everton (US especially and Australia in the days of Cahill or South Africa when Pienaar was their captain) you might find a different story.

Interesting to see the level of interest in Aston Villa in Ireland when there is a strong Irish community in Birmingham, but of course Liverpool has a much stronger Irish connection, so what could Everton achieve there?

One thing I do agree with you on is the failing of our Board to push the Club forward. You cite the stadium issue, whilst I would say that their small-time, cautious attitude is the reason and that the kit situation, along with the stadium issue, is just another manifestation of that.

Maybe they wear cardigans and slippers? ;)

Anthony Dwyer
71 Posted 09/10/2015 at 01:03:53
Graham Mockford @ 20,

I did not respond as I thought I would wait to see if anybody agreed with you. This is not a dig; it was simply left for others as I felt almost blown away by your comments.

As other people have said, when leaving Liverpool, the home of Everton FC, I believe it's a must there is an opportunity to purchase the kits. People who have been here on holiday or are going away on holiday have extra funds and may just simply purchase a kit on an off-chance.

As well as kits, many types of Everton memorabilia should be available, from cups, mugs, glasses to pens, pencil cases, etc. It's not exactly rocket science now, is it?

Graham Mockford
73 Posted 09/10/2015 at 11:17:41

You can nearly always sell stuff but you are going always to ask yourself a couple of questions:

How much can I sell?
How much money can I make on the site?
Is the amount I can make worth the effort and cost internally?

I can distribute my goods in two ways:

(1) I can rent some space and retail the products myself. However, when I do this, I have costs of operation (wages, distribution, space rental, occupancy costs, marketing costs, stock management costs, shrinkage etc etc). Trust me, in an airport you need a fair bit of volume to make this work.

I can tell you quite categorically having done airport retailing globally you will not make an Everton shop work in JL airport. The numbers would never work.

(2) I can agree a supply agreement with another retail partner to stock my product. In this cases my margin is significantly less.

This is more realistic and I think it is the model Liverpool have adopted. Again however you are not going to get rich quick. My estimate of turnover potential for say 3-5 m² of space would be about 㿞,000 a year which which if you got your product assortment right might generate you 㾻,000 of net profit. But of course you could lose money on it. My figures are of course estimates but based on quite a lot of retail experience. Even if I am wrong to the tune of 200%, the earnings are 㿙,000 a year (or a weeks wages for an average first team squad member).

Take that in what most people would consider a prime site and then think about all the other places people would like to see Everton merchandise retailed and what you come up with is not a lot of opportunity and a shed load of risk.

The ability to generate huge amounts of revenue through merchandise is a bit of a myth other than for the mega brands namely Man Utd, Barca and Real Madrid and it becomes disproportionately less as you move down the pecking order.

The big areas in generating commercial revenue are match day (hence the need for new facilities) and sponsorship. They will significantly outweigh merchandise sales.

As for brand enhancement, I understand the point but, with the global reach of TV, winning a trophy or qualifying for the CL will be much more effective than being able to buy a baby gro saying 'my daddy made me an Evertonian' at JL airport ever could.

Dave Roberts
74 Posted 09/10/2015 at 12:41:46
I was in Olu Deniz, Turkey, a couple of years ago and we found a bar that sold Guiness for the equivalent of about ٠ a pint so we spent a lot of time in there. Right opposite this bar was a pretty plush shop that specialised in football shirts. I'm not sure if they were genuine but it certainly wasn't obvious that they weren't. They had a few shirts from other European clubs but 95% of the gear was from the Premier League probably because the vast majority of tourists to Turkey are from the UK.

As far as I could see, every club in the Premier League was represented except one. Have a guess what club's merchandise was missing? Even if they were fakes, it was probably because nobody ever saw Everton shirts in shops, even genuine ones, so nobody could be arsed copying them.

Graham Mockford
75 Posted 09/10/2015 at 13:37:42
Dave Roberts,

This is the sort of anecdotal nonsense which means the debate moves from the commercial reality to 'we could sell loads of shirts in x at a profit and make our brand a global presence'.

Firstly, let me point out one factual inaccuracy. On the most recent figures Turkey has about 30m tourists a year of which Brits make up about 8%. There are significantly more tourists from both Germany and Russia.

Secondly, the chances of finding genuine PL replica shirts in Olu Deniz for anyone who has visited is laughable. I bought my wife a 㿀 Rolex there a couple of years ago.

I can't really dispute what you say about 95% being PL and every other team being represented as of course I've never been in the shop you recount; however, I have to say I'm sceptical.

I would also wager a small bet that the most popular replica shirt after Galatasaray and Fenerbache is Barca with Messi on the back.

The suggestion that retailers of fake replica shirts don't make Everton ones because they are not available in other retail outlets is one of those assertions that makes your jaw drop and you find it difficult to counter.

Dave Roberts
76 Posted 09/10/2015 at 14:51:08
Well, firstly Graham don't put words in my mouth. I never suggested that Everton could build a fortune by selling replica shirts in Olu Deniz or anywhere else in Turkey. I was merely reflecting on the fact that, just as elsewhere, replica or otherwise, Everton kits were not available in a shop in Olu Deniz that sold shirts pertaining to every other Premier League club.

The Turks are not stupid and they know that culturally the wearing of football shirts is something almost unique among UK beach holiday tourists. I have no doubt they looked at all major outlets in the UK, and not seeing anything for Everton, bought in or copied everything else they saw in order to make a few bob. This doesn't only apply to Turkey though. In a little shop I came across at Abu Simbel in Egypt a few years ago, just a few miles from the Sudanese border, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool shirts could be bought... no Everton though!

You may well be right that a Barca shirt with Messi on the back would be a best seller in Turkey as a whole but not in Olu Deniz which is totally geared up to British tourism. This was the birthplace of 'Azda Price' after all and even the opening of 'Azda' supermarkets. You should have found that obvious having been there yourself.

As for tourism overall, perhaps I should have made it clearer but I was talking about the kind of tourist who might buy and wear football shirts. The Russians used to visit Turkey in larger numbers than people from the UK but this has not been the case for the last few years. Germans are the largest numbers of visitors to Turkey but not to the resorts. You have to remember that there are nearly 5 million Turks in Germany and many return to Turkey to visit family and friends. These count in the tourist figures because they still need a visa. They are not going to Turkey for the same reason that you or I went to Olu Deniz.

Finally, you can be as sceptical as you like about what I describe about the shop. For the moment I will not assume you are calling me a liar.

Karl Masters
77 Posted 09/10/2015 at 23:03:50
Graham, it's not about making money. Great if we do, but the object of the exercise is raising the Club's profile other than the obvious one of TV exposure you keep mentioning.

Call it supplementary to appearing on TV. People abroad see Everton on TV, like what they see, and want to buy a shirt. They wear it out and about, awareness grows, other people are encouraged to support the Club... and buy a shirt, etc, etc

If it makes so little commercial sense, how come all other Clubs our size do it?

Anthony Dwyer
78 Posted 10/10/2015 at 00:54:18
For me, Graham, it's just simply a must that we are represented throughout the City of Liverpool. This is the very minimum requirement for me.

I can see what you are saying in regards to getting into the Champions League etc but, regardless of that, you always have to do the basics. The basics are as such that the Everton kits need to be sold throughout Liverpool and the surrounding areas.

After that, we should try to branch out to other places to capitalise on other markets, regardless of how much money we make, even as a marketing tool. Australia should be swamped in Everton kits as we have had their biggest footballer ever at us for most of his career.

The States should be the same with Howard's goalie top sold throughout. We've also had Donovan, McBride and Max Moore. China: Li Tie. South Africa: Pienaar. The list goes on... one or two people buy the shirt, promote it in doing so, and other follow suit.

This is how you become a global brand, but first and foremost we have to become a local brand and that entails selling shirts in more than two shops.

Richard Jones
79 Posted 10/10/2015 at 10:51:22
Sorry, I've joined this thread late. I have scanned it but not seen anyone mention the fee paid by the kit supplier. I believe QPR got 㾶 million from Nike when they were in the Premier League.

As I understand it, when questioned about it, Elstone was evasive and couldn't confirm if we'd received it or Kitbag have had it, is anyone any wiser on this?

Because I believe when we get to the truth about this fee and who received it, you will then understand the logic behind the deal and like the Vibrac loans and selling off Finch Farm, Evertonians will see that it's a money-making scam for the real people running Everton FC.

Paul Hughes
80 Posted 10/10/2015 at 19:12:04
What about Ireland? Come on, Everton, every other clubs' colours are in the sports shop...
Phil Bellis
81 Posted 11/10/2015 at 01:09:16
"I can tell you quite categorically having done airport retailing globally you will not make an Everton shop work in JL airport. The numbers would never work."

Prove it.

Eric Myles
82 Posted 11/10/2015 at 08:14:10
Why is it only our deal with Kitbag that seemingly restricts sales in other outlets?

Man Utd also use Kitbag for their sales but their shirts are available in shops worldwide.

Ernie Baywood
83 Posted 11/10/2015 at 08:24:52
I'm not party to the details but I'm guessing it's not restricted. It just comes down to the shops wanting to sell them, and the supplier wanting to find a partner to sell them in that location.

We sell shirts through the biggest sports chain in Australia (sorry to yet again bust that myth), so I'm sure it's not restricted.

Phil Sammon
84 Posted 11/10/2015 at 08:30:04
I saw my first ever one in my local Rebel this weekend, Ernie. 10 minutes later I bumped into a guy wearing one in Myer!
Eric Myles
85 Posted 11/10/2015 at 14:27:50
So what you're saying, Ernie, is that Kitbag just aren't interested in marketing Everton.
Graham Mockford
86 Posted 11/10/2015 at 16:20:20
Phil Bellis

Well prove it is a tough call given I would have to make some assumptions, but I can make some educated ones which would determine a break even point. Excuse me that I don't do the full discounted cash flow but you should get the gist.

To rent a 1500 sqft retail unit ( typical size for an airport outlet, I would suggest Everton One is about 4000 sq ft for comparison) would cost about £30-35 per sq ft, so your rent is typically about £50,000 pa.

In terms of operating costs your major one is payroll and for a unit operating 12 hours a day, 7 days a week you total costs including holidays, NI, pension and sickness would be about £150,000 pa. (it assumes two people at all times, you could go down to one at certain times but I suspect you might incur a fair bit of stock loss!)

Other occupancy costs would be shared airport services, utility bills, maintenance, amortisation of fit out costs etc you are probably adding in another £50000.

So we start with costs being about £250k per year. Assume we can make a delivered gross margin after distribution costs, stock markdowns and shrinkage of 40%

Therefore just to break even we would need shop turnover of £562,500 per year of approximately £11,000 per week

This analysis does not include other associated costs like central buying, administration and cost of cash of stock and of course breaking even means you would be better with the cash in the bank.

To make it a commercial investment with the required ROCE you are probably nearer to £15,000 pw.

Now in my experience the chances of achieving those sort of turnover levels for an airport with 4m visitors a year just selling Everton merchandise to what are essentially impulse purchasers is pie in the sky.

And if you are in a business that has debt and needs to manage cash tightly why would you consider such high risk low return ventures.

Many on here see it as brand enhancement, I think it's more vanity. I'm pissed of because I can't see my teams shirt on display.

Brin Williams
88 Posted 11/10/2015 at 18:22:39
Yesterday afternoon at the top of Fuente De Teleferique in the Picos Northern Spain, weather beautiful and lovely scenery, great photos for the album and then these two Spanish kids clamber over the rocks wearing Red Shite hoodie jackets – spoilt my day.

So help me it crossed my mind to drop them over the edge but the wife talked me out of it. Nice. Still I see that Wales qualified and the vino's that's some compensation.

Phil Bellis
89 Posted 11/10/2015 at 22:06:46

I didn't mean to sound cofrontational; apologies. It just really grates that as a club, entity, whatever, we don't promote ourselves in our own city.

I spend a lot of time in the East End of London, Birningham, Yorkshire, etc – proper football fans know us and have nothing bad to say about us: "Everton...yea!, proper football club."

We don't have a clue how to sell ourselves to the wider world

Ernie Baywood
90 Posted 11/10/2015 at 23:43:12
Eric, I suppose I am. If there's no return for them then why would they bother? Blues will buy the shirt online, so the only benefit of having shirts on a rack outside of Merseyside would be impulse buyers (I just don't think we have that kind of draw) and marketing/brand awareness.

Again, I'm not convinced by the argument that we need to put shirts on racks as some kind of advertisement of our club. We're on TV every week, in the papers regularly. That's got to be worth more than a few shirts sitting in a sports store.

Eric Myles
91 Posted 12/10/2015 at 00:38:13
Graham (#85), but for a retail shop that is already in place and selling other team's kits, what is the additional cost to them of stocking say 50 Everton kits?
Eric Myles
92 Posted 12/10/2015 at 01:23:16
Ernie, then it just indicates that we have a partner that is not interested in promoting us and we should change or be able to negotiate additional partnering deals ourselves.
Graham Mockford
93 Posted 12/10/2015 at 06:52:01
Eric #89

I was specifically answering Phil's question but the point you raise I covered in #72.

This would be the only sensible distribution would be under this model because you are not committing to cost but of course you share your margin with a partner. There is a shop called 'Love from Liverpool' or something like that. I even guess you could make some money out of it but you could equally lose money.

Of course, this model of de-risking by partnering and margin share is exactly the basis of the Kitbag deal.

You are effectively selling a fashion item, which has a certain shelf life of normally two years. You make most of your sales when the product is launched and before the start of the first season. In the second year, you are usually selling at a discount because there is a new kit coming along. You are managing three different styles in multiple sizes. It all sounds easy but trust me it's not, and what you think is profit can soon evaporate if you don't get your assortment, forecasts and discounting right especially because you are not selling in any real volume.

So could we sell shirts at JL? Yes, we could. Would it make any real difference in the grand scheme of things? Not in my view.

Matt Traynor
94 Posted 12/10/2015 at 07:25:13
Bloody hell I never thought I'd see the day I agreed with Mocky!

When I lived in Asia I went to the Barclays thing in Bangkok in 2005. (Pre Kitbag, but there was still no distribution outside of UK pretty much.) I had a friend with me and she wanted to look the part, so we toddled over to Chatchuchak Market, and found a top in her size for about ١.

I expected it to be as minty as fuck, but it was remarkably decent quality. A couple of years later I think I discovered why. On a trip to Vietnam, I was in Ben Tham market in HCMC, which was full of branded goods, as well as the usual fake Rolex crap.

Some of the clothes looked really good, and I asked one of the stall holders why. In perfect English (they get cable TV, love the Simpsons), she explained that a lot of the labels have manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, and when the day shift ends, the "night shift" moves in (security paid off), and continues to knock out the goods. They're made to the same spec, labels etc. but minus any packaging as Management would notice that, but not it seems the reduction in other materials.

These then end up for sale in local markets, all with the labels etc. But for a fraction of the price you'd pay in Church Street.

If any of you fashion victims ever need to update your wardrobe, I'd suggest a trip to Vietnam with hand luggage only. Buy a suitcase over there, and fill it. Savings would probably cover your flight and hotel cost.

Back to Bangkok in 2005 - all the Thais around the ground were wearing these ١ Everton tops. Lost revenue to Everton? No way. They'd never have paid 㿙-50 for the top. But we got the brand recognition and profile so many think we lose out on. If I were responsible for Everton's overseas brand, I'd turn a blind eye to this - revenue-wise it's small beer compared to broadcast revenue.

Brian Hennessy
95 Posted 12/10/2015 at 11:29:48
Next thing they will be telling us is that work has commenced on a new stadium,

I can't take all this excitement.

Eric Myles
96 Posted 12/10/2015 at 13:00:12
Matt (#92), the other reason is factory seconds. I used to get Levi jeans in Philippines that were straight from the factory because they had a minor stitching mistake.

Anything Umbro is made in Vietnam and you can get genuine gear quite cheaply, but Vietnam does have a very good quality clothes and footwear manufacturing capability so I usually buy locally made brands that are better and cheaper than the international branded knock-offs.

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