Q and A With Boro Shop - Thread - ANSWERS

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Please post only once on this thread to give as many people as possible an opportunity.
Ask one question or two at a push if linked.
I will then collate the questions and ask them to Jo-Ann Swinnerton - Head of Retail and Lee Fryett Chief Commercial Officer - of Middlesbrough FC.

Can Alasdhair Willis put a word in with his lovely wife Stella and get a Stella McCartney x Middlesbrough FC collection ?

Be the talk of London fashion week next year.
Mentioned earlier but I will not buy a shirt with ANY sponsor advert on it so make them available as an option and design them so they still look good without. Last one I got was the Adidas one with the white chest band when no sponsor ( 2010/11 ? ) so due a new one! It was also long sleeved version which should be made available again as people often wear them over something on cooler days, and short sleeve version looks odd which is only option unless getting a goalkeeper shirt.
I'll echo the question about postage costs.

It's inexplicable that I have to pay £6 delivery for getting something delivered (presumably) from 8 miles away.

I'd get it if it was for something that cost very little, but when you're paying £52+ for a shirt, it's nonsense to pay so much on top of that.

You can get free shipping on t-shirts from plenty of smaller businesses, including many local ones, for much cheaper products.
Q & A answered by Jo-Ann Swinnerton MFC Head of Retail.

To start with I asked J-Ann to talk us through the whole process from design to shop floor for the Boro shirts, It gives an idea of the timeline etc something that stood out for me when I heard Jo-Ann outline this at a Middlesbrough Supporters Club 2020 meeting.


We begin the kit selection process anywhere from 12 -18 months in advance of the following season launch. The process begins with a design consultation with the manufacturer, internal conversations and supporter group discussions. We involve, media, marketing, team personnel and senior staff at the club. When choosing designs we consider the club's history, trending products and colourways and take in to account any special events or anniversaries.

Once the designs are finalised, we begin to compile the orders. We order for every department in the club including the team, academy, internal departments and foundation among others. This process alone can take up to 12 weeks to complete.

Over the next 6 months we begin working with our partnerships team to secure sponsors applications and designs and begin the process of embellishment. Once finalised we receive the gold standard samples and approve the design.

  1. We constantly monitor sales and top up the stock accordingly. From order to delivery the stock can take up to 60 days to arrive. We also must look at current stock holding and previous sales history to ensure we are not over stocked. The 23/24 Away shirt was delayed, and this was due to the manufacturer (they did post a statement confirming this.) we did have the shirts back in stock before Christmas, but I accept that this could have been earlier, and we will work with Errea to deliver earlier in the future.
  2. As with most limited or special edition sales from the website the demand is always high. We do expand the bandwidth on the website to handle the initial rush of sales, if an order is not completed, we have no way of accessing that incomplete transaction. If an error is raised due to our system, we contact all customers and either manually input or, place the transaction for the customer. We accept this will not always be perfect, but we do endeavour to assist customers with queries of this kind. We have made great improvements to the webstore, and this is reflected in the increased sales through the platform.
  3. We choose our products carefully from trusted UK suppliers. We have trialled wool hats for example, but the reality of wool is the cost, we must consider the value aspect for our customers. To purchase items at a lower cost means the minimum order would be very high and not viable for the business. Most of our suppliers service nearly all the other clubs in the league so on this we are consistent.
  4. It is not realistic to assume Royal Mail are charging the prices set in their everyday charges to the public. Each business has a model and Middlesbrough’s is integrated with our EPOS system using Royal Mail as the carrier. In comparison to other clubs our postage is reasonable. We offer free click and collect whereas lots of other business charge for the processing and labour. Sports Direct charge £4.99 and some other clubs charge from £2.50 per order on Click and collect. We have the associated charges that come with e-commerce, and these include processing, labour costs, packaging and labels and then our actual postage charges. Business users are also charged for fuel surcharge and a green surcharge which is automatically enrolled to offset carbonisation in the network, we use both 24 hour and 48 hours tracked deliveries and offer free returns and replacement.
  5. We have passed the feedback to the supplier on the shirt sizing and the cut. We also stocked a range of larger size shirts to alleviate the problem, but rest assured we are working to ensure the cut and material is more in line for next season.
  6. We will be looking at some 150-year Anniversary products for the occasion along with retro shirts to add to the current collection.
  7. The club had a pop-up shop in the Hill Street centre trading for the Christmas period. We are looking at new and innovative ways to extend the retail operation. We are also hoping to revamp the current store at the stadium to introduce some new facilities and experiences for our supporters.
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I should add that it might surprise you to learn that shop sales have been really high this year and replica shirts are actually at record levels.
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