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Right, Merchandise!

Love or loathe the Pink/Vanilla (not 2 colours that spring to mind when I think of Everton), but I have to admit, I am impressed with the Catalogue, and the professional moves we have made on the merchandising front.

Let me explain: my wife, god love her, has no interest in football whatsoever. And coming from Yorkshire, you can let it slide a little with her. Since we have been together, she has grown to accept the Mistress in my life that is Everton. And, although she does not understand, she accepts my love for the club.

She tries... really hard. Every player we have with dark hair is Cahill or 'The Spanish Magic fella'. And she acknowledges the big awkward bloke with massive hair. But that is it with her. That's her knowledge, and she has no desire to progress it anymore. So imagine my shock last night as she flicked through the new Everton Catalogue that arrived, and used words like "Mmmm, that's nice, I like that top." I nearly fell over!

And this is my (slightly long-winded) point: The professionalism in the Catalogue now. The Tower, Dixie Dean & even the Moyes ranges. Someone has looked at this, and seems to realise, to generate the money, offer us the ranges for all the family. This really is a massive move forward, maybe a little too late. But I commend the moves to make us a brand, a real professional brand. Something we have lacked before.

Now I am not saying we are perfect, far from it. I myself have encountered problems when ordering stuff online. But I just thought I would 'give props' to the forward movement of the merchandising aspect of the club ? long may it continue.
Steve Foster, Leed's     Posted 15/10/2010 at 11:01:18

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Phil Martin
1   Posted 15/10/2010 at 15:14:55

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I was very impressed too. There was some very fashionable gear indeed. Maybe our marketing/merchandising departments are starting to realise that there's some money to be made in this football lark.
Jamie Morgan
2   Posted 15/10/2010 at 15:17:22

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Great post, i am in an almost identical situation with my wife. She tries god love her to get it and quite fancies Mikael Arteta (which i can live with!) Every year i enjoy seeing the cataloge on my doormat and wish i could buy all the items, but this year my wife actually wants a fashion top. I had to almost force it from her hands to look myself,
We are always a bit quick to slag Everton off when we mess up but hats off to those responsible. The entire range is very impressive.
Lynn Thorne
3   Posted 15/10/2010 at 15:32:40

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I was saying the same thing myself when I visited the store on Tuesday with my son.
The only thing that bothers me though - is the exclusivity of our merchandise.
It can only be bought at one of our 2 shops or on line.
When shopping in town or Cheshire Oaks for example. The sports shops are full of Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea - etc etc. But none of ours.
Surely it makes sense to sell elsewhere
James Cadwaladr
4   Posted 15/10/2010 at 16:02:10

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All well and good being happy with the quality of the merhcandise that is being produced and sold.

The more pertinent question when it comes to considering the benefits it has on the club is does it make as much money as it should?

There are several key issues, one of which Lynn discusses in exclusivity. If I were you Steve I would praise the combined powers of Le Coq and especially Kitbag, who deserve far more praise than the club do in putting this range together. Ultimately we have licenced out our retail operation to these people for a set fee during the course of the contract with scalable annual bonuses depending on volume of sales. Do not be fooled, this is far more lucrative for Kitbag and Le Coq than Everton.

Believe me, whilst these people are experts in their field (as sodexho are, who have we have outsourced the catering too) and they have vastly improved the product, please dont be immediately fooled that it has a great benefiot to the club because that isnt necessarily the case. I work for a supplier to the club and know first hand that the decisions made arent always the most commercially lucrative.

FYI though, The vanilla shirt is class.
Tony I'Anson
5   Posted 15/10/2010 at 16:15:36

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I know there is commercial sensitivity and all that, but I wish for every item of Everton merchandise sold, they would say exactly how much goes to Everton. For example:

Item: £58.75
Manufacturering cost: £5
Le Coq Sportif: £25
Everton: £20
VAT: £8.75

Just so we know.

Did you ever think comparitive advertising of supermarket prices would ever happen, or how much local African farmers are paid for their produce?

My wife now proudly has a pink Everton hat and scarf - because she quite liked the look of it.
Steve Foster
6   Posted 15/10/2010 at 16:47:56

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James, No.4

I totally agree with your statements. But the main point I was making that someone has chosen correctly with the supplier/design team.

With many comments already made, they are starting to attract many people whom would not normally bother with merchandise.

The person who made the call to team with Kitbag & Le Coq Sportif made a wise move!
James Cadwaladr
7   Posted 15/10/2010 at 16:54:52

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Steve, completely agree that the supplier and design aspect is spot on and that we have undoubtedly attracted a new audience and buyers who wouldnt have done so previously. So in terms of choosing correctly with supplier / design I agree wholeheartedly.

Although "The person who made the call to team with Kitbag & Le Coq" made a wise move" isnt necessarily true is it. It depends in which sense.

Would the club have been better off employing retail and design specialists instead of giving aware a good percentage of revenue? Im pretty sure Philip Greene could have tapped someone up!! Not only could this increase revenue but it is also increasing the amount of intellectual property that the club gains moving forward thus being able to exploit merchandising fully in the future without outsourcing it.

You might like to think that the club looked into these options, I would like to think so too however, as a supplier to the club, our business knows that isnt the case and money is spent in wrong areas / on wrong projects that could be done more efficiently. The problem with the club is that there is a real reluctance to invest in order to gain return on investment and I have first hand experience that the club tends to go with the solution with the least initial cost rather than maximum ROI.

Perhaps Im getting away from the point, if thats the case apologies Steve, I will try and write a piece on the clubs commercial activities over the next week or so, though it depends on two factors Sundays result and the resultant hangover and my pitiful writing ability.

Look at it another way if we win on Sunday I wont give to hoots about the merchandising! COYB!
Steve Foster
8   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:09:40

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James, No7

Not to be picky with you, but your last paragraph, allow me to amend, please.

Look at it another way WHEN we win on Sunday I wont give to hoots about the merchandising! COYB!

PMA and all that!

James Cadwaladr
9   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:29:13

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Good lad steve!
Mike Mulhall
10   Posted 16/10/2010 at 12:09:46

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Has anyone had any problems with the kids kits? My lad is 3 and I got him the 4-5 vanilla kit but his head wouldn't fit through it.
Ian Bennett
11   Posted 16/10/2010 at 19:02:09

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Mike ? are you related to Frank Sidebottom?
Martin Faulkner
12   Posted 17/10/2010 at 06:44:55

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Just got the Vanilla kit through the post the other week, love it. I also got the Sergio Tachini polo which is excellent, and the Brian Labone quote t-shirt, delighted with all purchases.
Quality of merchandise is definately up, although as some have mentioned, availability is very poor indeed. I emigrated to oz a few years ago and can't believe we're not making the most of the cahil angle. Every time he's home for an international he's on the telly advertising something here. Should have a deal with rebel sports at least.
Jonathan Tasker
13   Posted 17/10/2010 at 10:38:10

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Got the pink shirt and now looking to buy one of those track tops- very impressive catalogue.
Mike Mulhall
14   Posted 17/10/2010 at 11:37:40

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Frank Sidebottom? never heard of him? does his son have a big head aswell?
Ian Campbell
15   Posted 17/10/2010 at 19:51:26

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To be honest I've lost all interest in merchandise, the fact that the club has 3 new shirts and changes them every year is immoral! For adults it doesn't matter but costs parents a fortune!
Colin Ryan
16   Posted 17/10/2010 at 21:20:02

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The woman has my Cahill jersey bought for my birthday but i dont get it til next week. I'd give my right bollock to wear it playing ball against a load of red muppets tomorrow night.

Agree with other views that we should be able to get merchandise in normal sports shops. Costs ?80 for me to get an Everton jersey over to Ireland when every other jersey is for sale in loads of shops for ?40 to ?50 quid
Damian Scott
17   Posted 20/10/2010 at 19:40:24

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@Colin Ryan - Post 16

Yeah agree on the Ireland issue. I haven't been able to buy any merchandise in-store since they signed this deal. I generally like to try a shirt on for fit before I buy. Buying online doesn't allow this.

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