Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Kitbag's failure

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Being a subscriber to the magazine 442, I opened this month's delivery looking forward to seeing our new home strip in the advertising section. When I got to the section, I was stunned to see a two-page spread of Kitbag's goods and no sign of our new strip.!!!

What is the point of a contract with Kitbag as the only suppliers if they are not going to promote us in one of the very few general football mags? This must be a failure of their contract with us and a way out of this one-sided fiasco.

Paul Brannan, Liverpool     Posted 03/08/2011 at 22:48:59

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Chris Bannantyne
1   Posted 04/08/2011 at 04:43:33

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A lot of people are unhappy with the kitbag deal.

The board and CEO keep saying how good the deal is.

Honestly I don't know either way, but it does seem bullshit that you can only purchase the kit and merchandise at the Everton stores, and nowhere else.

What is it? 12mil over three years or something? Does anyone know whether this is a good deal or not (in a monetary sense anyway)??

And yeah, the fact that Kitbag themselves have failed to advertise our stuff is pretty bloody poor...
Martin Graves
2   Posted 04/08/2011 at 06:47:03

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It's 32M over 10 years, and the LCS deal is over 3. So just over 3M a year from Kitbag, think we get new kit manufacturer next year. Beats the awful JJB deal!
Mark Griffiths
3   Posted 04/08/2011 at 07:57:29

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Martin (2), did not realise it was that much! In some ways it was easier for me with the JJB deal as I could snap up a kit in 10 minutes as I live in Chester.

Tried to get one for my 5-year-old son last week, did I? Answers on a post card!
Martin Graves
4   Posted 04/08/2011 at 08:28:14

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To be honest Mark(3), I think it was a poor decision to give exclusivity for such a long period. It was mis-sold by the club (shocking I know), as I remember hearing such lines as 'Kitbag handle Barcelona merchandise' but you can get a shirt anywhere. I dont actually blame the club for the lack of availability of the shirt, I blame them for signing the exclusivity deal. To not be able to get a shirt in Chester is appalling really.
Stewart Oakes
5   Posted 04/08/2011 at 08:12:24

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If you go to the Kitbag site and look for Everton under the football kits list, it will to take you to the EvertonDirect site which makes all of the Everton merchandise available.

I have checked al the other Premier teams and we are the only one this happens with. Don't forget that Kitbag insisted that a shop was opened in Liverpool One and they listened to the fans and gave it that great name.

Please remember we don't sell kits like other teams. I live in Crewe about 50 miles from Liverpool and there is a large Everton following here and a couple of years ago, on the day one of our new kits came out, JJB in the town opened at 8am to sell it with loads of window space advertising it. Yet when I went in at 10:30 and was the first person not only to buy the kit but the first person to look.

Mark Griffiths
6   Posted 04/08/2011 at 09:06:56

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I suppose purely from a selfish point of view, I prefer it to be available in shops, but there are those who do not live near Liverpool who (even in this day and age) do not have access to the internet for orders..

I do remember posting on TW when we had the JJB deal about the amount of Everton kits in JJB compared to Liverpool, Utd etc, considering we had the deal with JJB!
Steve Pugh
7   Posted 04/08/2011 at 09:09:26

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I was visiting my Mum in Northwich and went into a shop called Quality Save. They sell Everton Fleece throws and Duvet sets. First time I have seen either of these items. Both good quality and look great on my boys bed.
Ian Hawkins
8   Posted 04/08/2011 at 09:38:58

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My birthday last week and my Mrs spent the week trying to get me the new home top, went in every sports shop in Bath, no luck, Clarkes retail village in Street, not a sniff and even went to The Mall in Criibs causeway (Bristol) as well as the other surrounding sports shops. The total amount of Everton merchandise in these shops was a pair of slippers.

As an alternative though she could have easily purchased me a Man utd, Man city, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle, Celtic, Rangers, Fulham, West Ham, Leeds, Bristol city, Bristol Rovers or Aston Villa kit?

And we wonder why were getting left behind :-(

Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 04/08/2011 at 10:02:20

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The kitbag deal is spread over ten years so not paying in a block, thus 3.2m per year, only trouble is that in ten years time 3.2m is worth a lot less than 3.2m is now, a poor deal, better marketing and availability of kit in multiple outlets would have made up for this. I can buy any other buggers kit anywhere.
Dan McKie
10   Posted 04/08/2011 at 10:51:16

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I never understand people on this one. Instead of coming on the internet to moan about buying/not buying a shirt, why not come onto the internet, go to the Everton website, and order one? The only thing I dont like is that you cant get around the 6 delivery charge, unless you are in one of the shops, which I will be before the game on friday night. However I wouldn't go into JD Sports, see no Everton kits so think sod it, Villa it is, like some suggest!
Mark Stone
11   Posted 04/08/2011 at 10:46:07

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Never been a kit wearer myself, like (as an adult). I'd rather just gift the club 40. I think 4 years living in Newcastle made me realise what a tit you look like. For my neice and nephew I bought them online. Simples.
Dan McKie
12   Posted 04/08/2011 at 11:04:43

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32 mil over 10 years is a bit naff. Nowadays, these contracts shouldn't be lasting anymore than half that time due to the value of these deals rising year on year. We ain't the only ones though, look at Arsenals 15 year 90m stadium naming deal, dwarfed by Man City's (very dodgy) 400m 10-year deal for a stadium the club rents off the council!! Any club is daft to lock themselves beyond 3 or 4 years for anything.
Philip Bunting
13   Posted 04/08/2011 at 11:57:07

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Ian Hawkins. Let me get this right - To use Toffeeweb you need the internet! Why complain about not getting kit when you can order it direct using ? guess what ? the INTERNET? Don't understand the critics at times.

I ordered the home top and received it in 3 days and also got a jacket worth 45 for 10. Quit complaining for complaining's sake, lads. Kitbag in my eyes are offering more merchandise than ever before... What's the problem?

David Thomas
14   Posted 04/08/2011 at 12:18:04

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Philip Bunting,

100% agree.

In the time many of these posts were written the shirt could have been ordered over the internet.

You hit the nail on the head with "Quit complaining for complaining's sake lads"

Tom Astley
15   Posted 04/08/2011 at 12:35:35

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I don't think the issue is 'it is easy to buy it off the internet', the issue is that you should be able to walk into you local JJB / JD Sports / [insert name here] and buy an Everton top.

My feeling is we accepted this 10-year deal from Kitbag as it guaranteed us X amount of money per year, which satisfied bank/creditors/whoever. Rather than not having a guaranteed amount of money coming from merchandising each year if we just sell through any sports outlet.

There are positives and negatives from each but, if you can't even walk into a high street store anywhere in the country and purchase an Everton kit of any kind, I think that is a sad and sorry state.
Ian Hawkins
16   Posted 04/08/2011 at 12:34:16

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Philip Bunting, as I said, my Mrs was recently trying to buy me a kit for my Birthday and searched everywhere she could to get me one.

I have ordered the new kit via the INTERNET but just think its a poor job when the only thing you can find in two cities which is related to Everton is a pair of slippers?

sorry, my mistake
Ian Hawkins
17   Posted 04/08/2011 at 12:47:09

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Thank you ,Tom, maybe you illustrated my point better than I did.
Nathan Ward
18   Posted 04/08/2011 at 13:06:34

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The exclusivity deal is short sighted in the extreme.

It is one thing having a certain amount of money coming in here and now - btw the deal quoted above is nowhere near the deal that I recall being touted at the time of signing either.

The lack of availability in shops won't affect the hard core fans like you and I who sit on an internet forum. However it will affect the young kids. Not seeing the shirts around reduces our visibility. Kids nag parents to buy things they see. Parents don't get nagged by a 7 yr old to go onto the internet and buy something from the club site.

Society is now a instant, see it want it get it.

This deal will haunt us big time in years to come.
Steve Pugh
19   Posted 04/08/2011 at 13:22:34

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The bigger problem is non-clothing merchandise. Compare what is available on our website with what other clubs have available in the shops, then you will see how crap the deal really is.
Robert Heaton
20   Posted 04/08/2011 at 14:23:32

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With al the negativity surrounding the marketing at Everton, I felt a bit of par was needed as they have done something right.

It was my birthday on Monday and I received a happy birthday e-mail from the club with an attached voucher for 5 off. I feel this was a nice touch and I will now be visiting the club shop before the match tomorrow.

Mark Griffiths
21   Posted 04/08/2011 at 14:32:12

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Nathan (18), spot on mate, yeah it is easy to order off the internet (apart from delivery costs in some cases - which you don't get in shops), but the point is, it is nice to be able to get a kit at the spare of the moment and not have to wait. The most worrying thing for me is what Nathan pointed out; we need every bit of exposure we can get. You walk into any High Street shop that sells footy gear, you are greeted with Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle, Barca etc, and that is what kids see!
Alex Kociuba
22   Posted 04/08/2011 at 14:51:24

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Some people need to realise that it is not realistic for sports shops up and down the country to stock Everton shirts! Selling one shirt every couple of months is not worth the space in the shop.

And who doesn't have internet access in this day and age? I don't believe that's a valid statement any more.

The Kitbag deal probably isn't ideal, but it seems some people expect to see Everton shirts for sale up and down the country!? It seems ludicrous people posting on www.toffeeweb.com that they can't find a shirt for sale!!
Tom Jones
23   Posted 04/08/2011 at 15:16:18

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I've noticed that ? even on ToffeeWeb ? the kitbag adverts advertise old Everton kits for sale... where is the new kit?

Kitbag is defo short for Kenwright Shitbag!
Elaine Riding
24   Posted 04/08/2011 at 16:21:23

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The one thing I cannot actually complain about is the Everton On-line shop. The goods are always quickly posted and some of the reduced gear is fantastic value.. especially the kids stuff.
Postage is fair, beacause, believe it or not, it actually costs money to post stuff ! and, as previously mentioned above, they do send you codes for money off / free postage the more you use it
Tony Rice
25   Posted 04/08/2011 at 17:40:27

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Last spring , I brought 30 teenagers to Manchester / London for a football trip.... on that trip I only saw 1 Everton jersey in all of the stores/shops we visited. ( I did sneak off for the day to Liverpool to go to Everton 2...) but these kids spent loads of cash buying 2 or 3 shirts / scarves etc. etc. on the trip. These kids have quite a knowledge of EFC as I am a die-hard blue and talk of them + their history incesssantly...I am sure these kids would have grabbed some EFC stuff on their travels but none was to be seen..... The kids were shocked to see their was no Everton stuff next to all of the other clubs gear..... Think about how many "casual" fans pick up kit or souveniers while on holiday etc. We have NO presence .....
Opportunity wasted......
Stewart Oakes
26   Posted 04/08/2011 at 17:43:28

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The situation with buying stuff from outside of Merseyside is no different now than when we had the deal with JJB, its only the people within this area that suffer.

I live in Crewe and yes my JJB stocked Everton kit, but travel to Stoke (only 13 miles from me) and ask in the much larger JJB there for Everton kit and they look at you as if you?re from another planet.
If you look back at some of the older seasons mailbag you will find lots of people complaining that there JJB didn't stock Everton gear, and complaints about the main JJB shop in the city having it hidden away behind the redshite stuff.

The service from the on-line shop has improved, the new kits are available to buy before the season starts, we have leisure ware made by Sergio Tacchini and if you?re going to a game you can order the things you want and pick them up at either of the 2 Everton stores at no extra cost. I would have to say that things have improved over the last couple of years.
Colin Ryan
27   Posted 04/08/2011 at 19:03:33

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The problem with the Kitbag deal is that it costs me about ?80 to get an Everton jersey delivered to Ireland when every other teams kit is in my local sports shop for ?50. The only other problem is that you cant try the stuff on so you end up with stuff either too big or too small.
Alex Kociuba
28   Posted 04/08/2011 at 19:20:21

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Stewart, expecting to find an Everton kit in Stoke is like expecting to find a Fulham kit in Liverpool, or a Sunderland kit in Norwich.
David McKitt
29   Posted 04/08/2011 at 19:38:01

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I agree with you Colin. Its a pain not being able to try it on first.
I can see why people end up buying copies of the jersey off dodgy websites if you have to order online anyway.
It doesnt hurt as much if it doesnt fit you if youve only spent ?20 rather then the full price from kitbag online..
Martin Graves
30   Posted 04/08/2011 at 20:13:02

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Here is the article released at the time, and also it stated that the LCS was for up to 5 years, for a minimum of 3, and worth an additional 3million. but i havent included that bit!
"Everton have signed a record-breaking 30 million-plus deal with sports retailers Kitbag to market the club's merchandise worldwide. The agreement, the biggest commercial contract in the club's 131-year history, is for 10 years and will see Kitbag take responsibility for high street shopping, mail order and the club's online store. This new and exciting partnership represents real and tangible progress in the retail arena for Everton," said the club's chief executive officer, Robert Elstone.

"It is, and will remain, a key area of the club's overall business and therefore it was crucial to find the right partner. I believe we have done that with Kitbag Limited.

"It will undoubtedly benefit Everton and our supporters for many years to come.

"There has been a significant amount of investment in this partnership from Kitbag already and it further demonstrates the ambition to improve our retail brand, our product ranges and customer service levels."

I particularly like the bit that says will market the merchandise 'worldwide'!!!
Brian Waring
31   Posted 04/08/2011 at 20:30:19

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"Kitbag take responsibilty for high street shopping"

Doesn't that mean we should be able to pick up stuff from stores in the high street?

James McGrady
32   Posted 04/08/2011 at 20:28:24

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Arsenal signed a number of long deals to secure the Emirates. This included shirt sponsorship, kit manufacturer, hospitality. They are tied into to deals that they are now only bringing in half of what they could be getting.

Emirates themselves have said that the Arsenal deal is the best they have ever signed. Long contracts are not good in an ever increasing global financial world. Everyone knows this except Bill Kenwright.

Steve Ashton
33   Posted 04/08/2011 at 20:23:06

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My problem is that the Kitbag deal does nothing to spread the word. It is all very well saying that it is easy to order on the web site, but let's be honest the only reason you would be on the web site is if you are a true blue.

Go to Heathrow or Gatwick and with the exception of EFC, Bolton and Fulham, (when I was at Heathrow recently) you could buy all the Premier League shirts and a few Championship ones. Tim Howard is as big a name as there is in soccer circles in the US (and the kids market is huge) yet we do nothing to exploit the market. Kids who would buy an EFC Tim Howard top over any other keeper and may then take a long term interest in EFC simply do not have the opportunity to choose one.

The current deal is totally insular and does absolutely nothing to help increase the fan base.
Stewart Oakes
34   Posted 04/08/2011 at 20:54:50

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Alex that's the point i was trying to make, one of the earlier post was saying his wife couldn't find an Everton kit in Bath or Bristol, we don't sell enough kits away from Merseyside for retailers to justified carrying stock.
Steve Pugh
35   Posted 04/08/2011 at 21:00:11

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Alex #28, apart from the fact that Stoke is closer to Liverpool than Fulham, and Norwich to Sunderland I have actually seen Sunderland shirts in Norwich, as well as Sunderland merchandise in a gift shop in Kings Lynn (a town near Norwich). This was alongside merchandise for Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, West Ham, and City.

Alex Kociuba
36   Posted 05/08/2011 at 00:26:37

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Sunderland merchandise in Norwich! I've heard it all now. Would be interesting to see how much of it sells though, perhaps its just a sign there's a club who gets it wrong even more so than us! I'll hold my hands up though.
Robert Johnson
37   Posted 05/08/2011 at 10:24:53

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I think people are being a bit unfair, on both the club and Kitbag. It's the market that determines these things - if there were adequate demand, then you can guarantee more stores in more locations would stock our shirts.

I think there are 2 reasons why there isn't the demand - one is that we simply don't have the fanbase outside Merseyside (I live in London and, while you occasionally see someone down the park wearing our shirt, it's a rare occurence, and you certainly don't see kids roaming the streets in them), and secondly, even among Evertonians there is a culture of not wearing the kit, indeed some of us see it as a bit brash, dare I say Kopite behaviour, for a grown up to wear colours for anything other than playing footy in. Have to admit I adhere to this - I haven't bought a new Everton shirt in about 6 or 7 years.
Mick Gallagher
38   Posted 05/08/2011 at 12:49:05

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Go to the kitbag website click new arrivals and guess what. Thats right no pictures of are new home or away kits, but sunderland home and away and the geordies. Rest my case they cant even be arsed to put a photo of it on there.
Tony J Williams
39   Posted 05/08/2011 at 13:57:39

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Kitbag.com - Football Kits - Premier League - Everton = Big banner with picture for NEW EVERTON HOME KIT. Simple enough for me if I wanted to buy an Everton top.

What's the problem?
Steve Pugh
40   Posted 05/08/2011 at 14:30:56

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Tony #39 the problem is that you actually have to go to the Everton part of the site before you see an Everton shirt. The Premier league page shows (in order) United Away, Liverpool Away, Chelsea Home, Arsenal Home, Liverpool 3rd, Sunderland Home, Villa Away, City Home, Newcastle Home&Away and finally Spurs Home&Away.

Now I don't know which of those teams have the same sort of deal with Kitbag as we do but I'd be shocked if they all do. With that sort of deal I would expect them to be pushing our merchandise harder than our lesser rivals.
Steve Pugh
41   Posted 05/08/2011 at 14:39:40

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Just had a quick look...Kitbag have exclusivity deals with the following: Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Celtic, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Nottingham Forest, The FA, Formula 1, RFU, The British & Irish Lions, The Open Championship, The Ryder Cup and Wimbledon.
Tony J Williams
42   Posted 05/08/2011 at 14:48:14

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Feck me, the Everton shirt is only in the Everton section.....what has the world come to?

Sorry fella but we are simply not a good commercial entity when coming to shirt sales.

Supply and demand and unfortunately no one is demanding the shirt from kitbag. Most of our shirts are probably sold by the official site or in the two Everton shops within the city.
Dan Brierley
43   Posted 05/08/2011 at 17:39:37

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I was in outer mongolia the other day, and I walked into a sports shop and couldn't believe it. Not a single piece of Everton merchandise on display. When is this board going to learn? There is money to be made everywhere, yet the just keep ignoring these valuable revenue streams.

So what if typing 'buy everton shirt' into google comes up with nearly 3 MILLION options. Nobody uses Google for gods sake!! If the board had any sense, they would be going door to door around all the major cities in the world selling our gear.

There are literally millions of people out there just waiting to become everton fans as soon as they see the beloved royal blue jersey sold in a shop, but the board just dont see it.

KENWRIGHT OUT!!
Steve Pugh
44   Posted 05/08/2011 at 18:25:40

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Why is everyone defending the situation focosing solely on shirts? The deal is for all merchandise. People aren't likely to go onto the Everton Direct site to buy a small gift ant then pay high postage on top. But they will buy a small gift item if they see it availoable in shops. We have a deal with Kitbag to promote the Everton brand online and in the High Street. They are not doing it. Instead they are promoting items from other clubs that do not have a merchandising deal with them. As for your argument that there no demand because you don't see people wearing shirts, that is weak. A lot of people still will not buy online because of the percieved security risks, just because you are computer savvy don't for a minute believe that everyone else is.

If they were I would lose half of my income.
Brian Waring
45   Posted 05/08/2011 at 22:48:57

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You make a good shout there Steve.

"People aren't likely to go onto the Everton direct site to buy a small gift and then pay high postage on top."
Dan Brierley
46   Posted 06/08/2011 at 01:00:22

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Steve, the people that are not computer savvy and wish to buy their goods in shops are a growing minority in the modern world. This trend is going only one way. Every kid in the country is brought up through school using computers. This is the future, whether we like it or not. The cost differential of managing your small gifts on sale in shops as opposed to storing it in a warehouse and shipping directly is big, when you look across the entire product range. Anybody who is shopping online is much more likely to buy more than one item compared to in a shop, due to the way it is marketed through 'shopping baskets' and advertising 'other people that bought this item, also bought this' etc.

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