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Elstone addresses merchandise supply issues

07/11/2014  Comments (51)  jump
Everton CEO Roberto Elstone has used his latest blog post on to shed some light on the kit-supply problems that have left the club unable to meet demand for this season's home jersey.

Elstone took the opportunity to pass on an apology from suppliers Kitbag for availability issues that have meant that some supporters have been unable to buy the 2014-15 shirt and the suppliers commitment to improving customer service.

He also cautioned that availability of some merchandise will be limited for the Christmas period and the remainder of the season.

"Sadly ... Kitbag was caught off-guard by exceptional levels of demand," the Chief Executive wrote.

"As it always does, and as all football club retailers do, Kitbag placed orders for this season's kit in autumn 2013 ... As we approached the launch, and fans' pre-orders were totted up', it became evident again that this still wasn't enough. Kitbag were, quite simply, overwhelmed by unprecedented demand."

"Whether we could have or should have anticipated the record-breaking demand, last autumn, is really a moot point ... What matters is Kitbag is committed to stop it happening again.

"In short, everyone associated with Everton merchandise has committed to doing better."

Full details on which product lines will be subject to shortages are available on the CEO's post.

Quotes sourced from

Reader Comments (51)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Paul O'Neill
1 Posted 07/11/2014 at 15:46:15
Useless, incompetent and taking the lions share of the cash no doubt. I donÂ’t generally buy much merchandise but that was cringeworthy to read. The club should take this stuff back in house at the earliest opportunity, surely?
James Ford
2 Posted 07/11/2014 at 16:09:35
ItÂ’ll always be poor, it wouldnÂ’t be Everton without poor merchandising... itÂ’s ingrained now.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 07/11/2014 at 16:09:07
A complete cock-up by Kitbag by the sound of it - not much use having stock available in February. I hope this results in Everton untangling themselves from this ludicrous arrangement which has been a pretty awful deal from the day the contract was signed.
Darryl Ritchie
4 Posted 07/11/2014 at 16:25:42
Totally unacceptable!!!!
Tony J Williams
5 Posted 07/11/2014 at 16:44:46
Does that mean they are not making any more then?

Surely the sweatshops in Taiwan can knock up a few more thousand XXXXL shirts

Eric Myles
6 Posted 07/11/2014 at 16:49:59
The bigger question is why were they only ordering them in autumn? Why not in spring so the supply would be ready for the start of the season instead of waiting for the season to kick off?
Lyndon Lloyd
7 Posted 07/11/2014 at 17:06:11
Eric, it appears to be an issue of kit production and is not specific to Everton. The orders are placed many months in advance (so Elstone is referring to Autumn 2013) and, it appears, production only takes place once or twice a year.

(That’s probably why the club weren’t able to do a u-turn on the last badge – the merchandise orders were in and there was no going back.)

Jack Okell
8 Posted 07/11/2014 at 18:04:27
ArenÂ’t we tied into a deal with these jizz stains until 2055? Ridiculous. Surely you base it upon sales from 2013-14 and add more for European recognition and more for contingency!

This has been doomed to fail since day one. I donÂ’t even think Everton would have the commercial nouse to add a clause to cut the contact if they canÂ’t fulfil orders...

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 07/11/2014 at 18:32:24
Bloody awful and embarrassing this. I know I go on about our lack of commercial nous but this just sums up how amateurish we are when it comes to negotiating deals. Elstone should hang his head in shame or resign.
Gary Russell
10 Posted 07/11/2014 at 18:39:32
Agree.... abysmal.

Tony J, I live in Taiwan and you would actually be very surprised. Puts Blighty to shame in so many ways. Them, there sweatshops are maybe in China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia.

Denis Richardson
11 Posted 07/11/2014 at 18:52:48
Is that ground for us to cancel the shite contract we have with them?

Probably not... I guess we get paid ١M a year – regardless if they make 1 shirt or 100,000.

Craig Harrison
12 Posted 07/11/2014 at 19:14:16
My guess is that last yearÂ’s kit with the crap badge didnÂ’t sell so well. Kitbag looked at last yearÂ’s sales figures and based this years supply from them.

With the new badge there is huge demand as some portion of the support has not purchased a shirt in 2 years.

Paul Holden
13 Posted 07/11/2014 at 20:23:33
Why isnÂ’t the kit sold at sports shops all over the country?
Sean Kelly
15 Posted 07/11/2014 at 20:41:03
How long is this contract for? Surely there has to be a clause to say if they donÂ’t satisfy the demand that we can call it a day.
Tony Marsh
16 Posted 07/11/2014 at 20:42:16
Although I agree, Elstone is a complete tool when it comes to all things football. Bad really when he helps run a football club but wasnÂ’t it Fathead Wyness who tied the club in to this Shitbag deal for a billion years? The whole club is a farce from top to bottom on the commercial side and Elstone has done nothing to improve things in all his time here.

Between Elstone and Kenwright, we have the supreme double act. Mike and Bernie Winters of the Premier League... WhereÂ’s Snorbitz???

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 07/11/2014 at 20:47:53
TheyÂ’d probably sue us, Sean, and weÂ’d lose. I wouldnÂ’t be surprised if Elstone is the clubÂ’s lawyer as well as CEO, BKÂ’s private secretary, PR man, club cook, emergency ball boy etc....
Colin Grierson
18 Posted 07/11/2014 at 21:08:50
I ordered a top for my lad and he wanted his name on the back. When it arrived, they had managed to spell his name wrong. I waited three weeks for a replacement and then rang them and they said the top was out of stock. I kept the top and got my money back. IÂ’ve been scouring the lower leagues hoping for a young Gierson I can recommend to Bobby.
Peter Laing
20 Posted 07/11/2014 at 22:12:58
One of the girls in work ordered the kit for her 7-year-old son, the money was deducted immediately from her account and a month later she was still waiting for the kit to be dispatched due to a shortage on the socks. Joke of an agreement / operation on the part of Kitbag – surely this ludicrous contract could be terminated?
Christopher Kelly
21 Posted 07/11/2014 at 22:27:13
Wouldn't be Everton if... Laughingstock of a team in regards to ownership, back room and now even 3rd party outsourced deals.

Could buy a fucking Leicester City top at Lillywhites yet we have some deal which disallows all of the, you know, easy retailers for us fans to buy something. Go online and it takes a month or more.

It's the acceptance of 2nd rate which makes me so damned pissed at the other Everton fans. On the field or off. No-one cares enough to do anything.

Karl Masters
22 Posted 08/11/2014 at 00:16:21
Kitbag deal has another five years to go.

I'm not sure bringing it back in-house is the answer, didn't they lose money doing that before? That's why ١m a season looked good for a while at the start.

Issue appears to centre around home shirts for fatties, home shirts for size 10 women, boys shorts and infant kits yet again. So not the whole product line, in fact just a fraction of it.

But they underestimated based on last year's poor sales, which were down to the Fisher Price badge.

Personally, I blame it on having a new kit EVERY season (since 2002). We are the only Club to have done this, you will see the likes of Arsenal, Manure, LFC often go for two years. This gives a bigger sales window to sell all stock so the Club can order big at the outset and know they have two years to sell it.

Also, when a new kit comes out as it's two years since the last one, the demand is big and a much higher percentage of fans will buy one. I tend to buy one every two years with an away one maybe in between.

I refuse to buy one every season, firstly due to cost and secondly because a lot of the designs are crap. I didn't touch any of the Fisher Price stuff last season, but bought the Umbro home shirt this year for me and my daughter in August as it was a great design.... and we were ready to buy again.

Two rules of retail: first know your customer and his/her demands. Second, know the competition. There is no competition so they only need to understand their customers better and they could crack it.

Kitbag are shite, a bunch of Mancs who couldn't care less. Find a new provider who does.

Eric Myles
23 Posted 08/11/2014 at 00:37:20
Even worse then, Lyndon, if the orders are placed a year in advance and we don't get our kits until just before the first game while other clubs fans have them all summer.
Dave Long
24 Posted 08/11/2014 at 06:13:09
Always have problems ordering with shitbag, reflects badly on our club.
David Waugh
25 Posted 08/11/2014 at 09:45:56
Surely there must be some sort of termination clause in the event of poor performance, right ? Or am I just assuming that such a basic contractual term was too much for them to them to think of or insist upon.
Paul Ellam
26 Posted 08/11/2014 at 10:12:47
For Kitbag read Unfit-bag.

Woeful performance by them but not a huge surprise judging by our past experiences in merchandising! The club really has no idea when it comes to selling stock and even themselves.

Tim Greeley
27 Posted 08/11/2014 at 11:04:38
Interesting point, Karl, about Everton having a new design every season while others seem to have the sense to, at the least, not mess with a good thing for a couple seasons. Personally I think this season's home kit is uber radical and would be happy to see it again next season. Let them switch up the away and third kits as they aren't on the same par.

I've only ever ordered tee-shirts and a fleece (dark blue and hot pink... what season was that again!?!?) thru the home site and had no issue. Not sure if that is the same as Kitbag...

Christine Foster
28 Posted 08/11/2014 at 12:14:45
Ok Elstone, tell me who in the EPL who stuffed up so badly, again.. Or better still how about the Championship? No? I can't think of anyone either...

In a normal business you forecast demand, so whose job in EFC was that Mr Commercial? Who is responsible for that then?

Try getting an Everton kit ANYWHERE in the world? Can you name me ONE country!!?? Can anyone?

There isn't an excuse for this and issuing an apology merely tries to deflect the anger, won't wash. Enough is enough, drag them in if it's Kitbags fault if it's yours put your hand up.

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 08/11/2014 at 12:35:45
Christine, the kitbag 'deal' is just another example of the uselessness of our incompetent commercial department. If in fact we have one.
Damian Braithwaite
30 Posted 08/11/2014 at 14:15:19
It was really poor pre-season as we'll, they sold out of kids kits and we had to wait two weeks for the order. I know why Everton use Kitbag as the merchandise side can be a headache. But we have got to realise our potential – we need to massively grow that side of the business as it advertises our club across the country and the globe. We are missing out on future Everton fans so we need to ditch Kitbag completely and tender for a business that completely looks after our interests.
Frank Key
31 Posted 08/11/2014 at 15:01:00
We are a fucking laughing stock. I wouldn't be surprised if the club has told the players to look after their kits and wash them on a low temperature as they have only got one spare to last them until February!
Gavin Ramejkis
32 Posted 08/11/2014 at 16:57:52
I'd take whatever old "chase the egg" boy has to say with a pinch of salt. Anyone took a moment to think about this ordering kits a year in advance is utter horseshit because the kits change every year so, if you ordered last year just WTF would you be ordering exactly?

The club's own finances just a few years ago had its credit rating at cash sales only with suppliers so we probably went direct from supplier on demand only at that point.

The business is ran like a joke from the Chairman and his yes-men like Elstone. The Kitbag deal is a shining example of a piss-poor deal with little or no commercial value when it was signed and one with diminishing returns every day since. Is it really that difficult when comparative minnows in football terms can sell their merchandise in far more outlets than the very few Everton do? Another shambles to add to the hall of shame you've built, Mr Kenwright, under your stewardship.

Mike Allison
33 Posted 08/11/2014 at 17:01:41
Karl, 22, that is simply not true. Some of those teams effectively have two new home kits per season because they change details like the numbers and names for European games.
Lyndon Lloyd
34 Posted 08/11/2014 at 17:18:45
Christine: "Try getting an Everton kit ANYWHERE in the world? Can you name me ONE country!!??"

You can now buy the kit in Ireland where you couldn't before and also online via World Soccer Shop in the US. The proposal to get the strip into shops like Dick's Sporting Goods in the latter market didn't come to fruition, perhaps because of the supply difficulties.

Gavin Ramejkis
35 Posted 08/11/2014 at 17:20:53
Mike, you could also add some have had specific Champions League kits too...
John Keating
36 Posted 08/11/2014 at 17:45:43
Lyndon, when I was a kid, you could go down to Jack Sharpes or a load of other places and buy the kit. So now we have two places in town.

Move on a few years and at college down South. Go in to sports shops and we competed with... well, anyone you care to mention.

Move a few years on and working abroad... well, all over the world and we still competed with anyone you care to mention.

Now ...............

Murdo Laing
37 Posted 08/11/2014 at 18:01:22
We will need a Champions League kit next season after we win the Europa League. Imagine that? Our young fans canÂ’t even get hold of a CL kit because our suppliers are, well, rubbish.
Patrick Murphy
38 Posted 08/11/2014 at 18:19:00
Another question is what do Chang think about the situation with the kits not being widely available even when they are in stock - surely they must believe that more sales of shirts gives them a better return on their sponsorship?
Brian Hill
39 Posted 08/11/2014 at 18:07:23
My, doubtless about to be ridiculed, idea is that no Evertonian should buy a replica shirt now, or ever. The only people who should wear Everton shirts are players. I have never played for Everton and have no claim to the shirt. We are different. Let us show it.
Mark Frere
40 Posted 08/11/2014 at 18:33:51
Brian (40) — what a ridiculous statement!
Christopher Kelly
41 Posted 08/11/2014 at 18:57:28
I bought a beautiful replica off of

$20 vs. $125

no one can tell the difference

Christopher Kelly
42 Posted 08/11/2014 at 19:00:05
I tried to buy an authentic but couldn't find one when I was in London...

went online and it was $125...

$125 for a jersey that used to cost $70... Everton your 'aving a lafff. sort it

Hugh Jenkins
43 Posted 09/11/2014 at 04:24:26
I've yet to see any Everton branded goods for sale in any of the shopping Malls in Dubai. Saddens my heart.
Karl Masters
44 Posted 09/11/2014 at 07:40:37
You never will Hugh because of this ludicrous deal we have with Kitbag.
Ian Bonnette
45 Posted 09/11/2014 at 08:59:30
I have been trying to buy my 4 year old boy a kit since the start of the season. We produced a full kit for his age at 㿏, fantastic I think. What a good price for a shirt, shorts and socks for kids to get them interested in our great club. Try getting one!!! We don't live in the area anymore so on a trip up I took him to Lpool One all excited. There were rows of adult tops with players names on the back all well stocked out. I asked the 13 year old staff member where the kits were for him and she replied "we got non left, haven't had them for weeks and they will not be in for 2 months". Two months!!!! So 2 months later I send my dad in as he was coming to see us and he was told, "we had 50 in but they've all gone and most we're ordered anyway. It will be near Xmas now"

Now here's a thought, wouldn't you think at that price they are going to fly out the door so we need to make loads, thousands maybe. These kids are our future and parents like me want our kids to be Evertonians. Is that too much trouble for anyone in our marketing dept to think? If so, you should all hang your heads in shame and Mr Elstone the buck stops with you.....apology not accepted.

Dave Wilson
46 Posted 09/11/2014 at 09:22:00
When I was in the Everton One shop in July this year, the changing room door didn't even lock, there were no short sleeved Everton Home shirts, no car stickers, which as been the case every time I have visited the UK since 2007, loads of teddy bears though.
Staff were surly and unapologetic about the door on the changing room being unable to be locked from the inside. The city centre is a sea of 'pinkie' shirts and all manner of money making merchandise, and we have no profile to anyone visiting the City of Liverpool at all.
The kitbag deal has proven very short sighted and totally of the type of mess that bill kenwright has been associated with at Everton.
Wayne Smyth
47 Posted 09/11/2014 at 12:43:47
Gavin(33) I'm not so sure it is ridiculous to order large quantities of kits 1 year in advance.

Detail such as the badge can be decided later, but I'm guessing what you're after is securing, in advance, the capacity to produce 40,000 shirts, for example. It's probably not the sort of thing you try to arrange a few weeks ahead of when you need them delivered.

Nicholas Ryan
48 Posted 09/11/2014 at 15:36:55
On my way to Lille, I went into Sports Direct, Oxford Street, London, to get an Everton shirt.

It's a vast store, and had kit from all the major teams; Barca, Real, Inter, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool; but nothing from Everton.

The assistant said 5 or 6 people that day had asked her for Everton kits. How are we going to grow, when the public can't buy our stuff, in the biggest sports shop in the country?

The girl did point out, that 'Everlast' is one of their brands, and they had a football shirt in Royal Blue, with white cuffs, with 'EV 1' on the front in white. It was 㾶. I bought it, and loads of people on the Eurostar asked me where I got it.

So, forget Kitbag, and go to SD!

Nicky Styles
49 Posted 09/11/2014 at 23:12:17
Sometimes I love our little club! Its stuff like this that sets us apart from everyone else! :)
Karl Masters
50 Posted 10/11/2014 at 00:33:57
This really is a poor situation because if they are issuing apologies already, that can only mean the situation is even worse than they are making out.

Kitbag deal is a joke, more than anything it is strangling the brand worldwide, and surprise, surprise no other major club has a deal anything like it.

Mike Hargreaves
51 Posted 10/11/2014 at 11:46:18
I deal in China. I could get 10,000+ shirts made in a week, airfreighted back back to the UK and in store within 14 days of order. If Kitbag cannot supply, why don't EFC just get the shirts and sort the legal shit later. If EFC get them made, it cannot exactly be classified as counterfeit.
Brian Cleveland
52 Posted 11/11/2014 at 04:53:58
I ordered mine as soon as it was available before the season started, it still hasn't arrived... and I did it a second time once they refunded my money, still didn't arrive... and every time I sent an email asking about it, it seemed the person replying did not even read my email, just chose any of the random standard answers and sent it regardless of the fact it was totally inappropriate....

As ordering on line and even over the phone didn't help, I was hoping I might be able to buy one while I'm home for Christmas, looks like Santa will be tearing his hair out on this one trying to find it....

I didn't believe how crap the service was... surely there must be something in the contract about being able to fulfil the orders and either penalties or a termination clause if they fail to deliver?

Karl Masters
53 Posted 11/11/2014 at 09:21:30
How many businesses around the world find themselves in a position where they can't get enough of a product to meet demand? Not many these days, and the ones that do rarely let it happen again.

Yet, we have been here before and many times as well. Sort it out Everton!

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