Jump to content

BRFCS

BY THE FANS, FOR THE FANS
SINCE 1996
Proudly partnered with TheTerraceStore.com

[Archived] Rovers So Called Club Shop. Problems Anyone?


Recommended Posts

I just got an e-mail from a mate of mine in Blackburn who has been trying to get some Rovers merchandise from the Club Shop for Crimbo for me, here is what he said to me...

'I went down to the club shop today and I could not see any scarf's and

the only Rovers hats where pink ! I asked one of the assistants if they

had any hats or scarf's. The assistant replied "What Rovers hats and

scarf's ? No sorry we don't sell them." I replied "but this is supposed

to be the official Rovers shop" to which the assistant replied "no, we

are not the official Rovers shop, we are sports world".'

Has anyone else had this problem and do we know what Rovers are currently doing about it?

OR

Has he just come across some dozy shop assistant who hasnt got a clue what is going on.

I have purchased stuff from the internet in the past, and I have noticed that a lot of the time merchandise is either out of stock or just not in the right size.

Plus the internet shop appears to be down at the moment.

Has anyone else had the same problem in the past?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 196
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well over the phone I have found the shop assistants to be quite rude and unhelpful.

The Rovers-World online shop is also a joke as it is rarely updated and at certain times only offers the most expensive delivery options.

Edited by tcj_jones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw some evidence of very poor customer service in there on Saturday whilst paying for some football boots (which were a total bargain it has to be said).

A guy came up to the counter and asked a bored looking assistant about some Rovers merchandise (badges I think). The assistant didn't even bother to unfold his arms, or turn towards the customer, or move from his slouched position leaning against a till, but just said "no we don't".

The customer made some comment about what a shame that was which didn't even get an acknowledgement.

He was there with two youngsters, and they were clearly infrequent visitors to Ewood - perhaps looking to spend a bit of money just before Christmas, but I was left with the impression that the assistant saw him as yet another freak saddo who supports a football team.

A matchday visit to the club shop is a must for people who only get to Ewood Park once in a while and it used to be a pleasure to browse all the Rovers stuff and spend a bit of cash on some unplanned item with the club crest on it.

Now it's just like walking into any other branch of Sports World, with the ignorant and rude staff to match. Whoever at Rovers manages the contract with SWI needs to sort this out fast, and get a clearly defined section of that shop put aside for Rovers bits and bobs - and insist that they employ staff who actually care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A guy came up to the counter and asked a bored looking assistant about some Rovers merchandise (badges I think). The assistant didn't even bother to unfold his arms, or turn towards the customer, or move from his slouched position leaning against a till, but just said "no we don't".

You'd probably have that attitude if you were on his wages! He was probably looking to get sacked so he could sign on and get a raise. unsure.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now it's just like walking into any other branch of Sports World, with the ignorant and rude staff to match.  Whoever at Rovers manages the contract with SWI needs to sort this out fast, and get a clearly defined section of that shop put aside for Rovers bits and bobs - and insist that they employ staff who actually care.

366511[/snapback]

On my last trip over I was shocked at how what had been a flagship advertisement for the club had turned into, as you say, a branch of any old sports chain with a merchandising policy akin to Tommy Ball's - I thought it looked like a junkshop. The stuff I did buy (March this year) has since all fallen to bits and went off to the Salvation Army ages ago, not that some Canadian hobo will thank them for such shoody goods.

When this subject has come up before, the club - in the guise of Lee - seem to think that, just because a service is outsourced, the club are in no way responsible for it or the image that it portrays. People are willing to pay good money to carry around and wear free advertising for the club, yet cannot do so. We must be the only club in the top 2 divisions to have such a shambolic excuse for a club shop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went in before the Brum game to buy my baby an outfit and compared to previous years it was cr%p..

They dont do anything for babies under 3rs, which they did last season as I bought my nephew in Aus some rovers PJ's and the service was useless..

Lost revenue and poor image for the club ...Something needs to be done!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We must be the only club in the top 2 divisions to have such a shambolic excuse for a club shop.

366523[/snapback]

Agreed. In just over 10 years we've gone from having the best around to just about the worst.

At least the old club shop (smaller than a corner shop) on Nuttall Street sold 100% Rovers merchandise even though the choice was limited.

Surely Mr Williams and Co have noticed its demise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I raised exactly the same point last Monday night at the Fans Forum.

I went into the Club Shop about ten days ago to buy a new fleece. In the past there has been several designs to choose from. On this occasion all the new stuff, tracksuits, fleeces, benchjackets etc was in one design and one design only.

Moving to the fleeces I was mildly irritated to find there was only XXL or small available. I assumed they would obviously be getting some more in for Christmas and went to check with the staff only to be met by a shrug of the shoulders, "we're not getting any more" and a "it's nothing to do with us" type attitude.

I was horrified at this. That was only one item. If the same is true for everything how much will be lost in potential sales over the Christmas period?. However I got the impression from Tom Finn that this wasn't considered a major issue as Rovers are apparently on a minimum take from the shop regardless of sales.

Whether that's true or not, the shop is OK if you want to buy some cheap SWI crap but relatively useless if you now want any Rovers merchandise. Gone are the days when you can buy mini kits for cars, dressing gowns, pyjamas, bed linen, Rovers soft toys, towels, watches, art prints - that's just a few examples off the top of my head - the list is endless.

Desperately disappointing to say the least. A heck of a trade off for SWI's pile of silver. mad.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went in the shop when i bought my Everton/Westham tickets & they had scarves in then (quite a few) They were £5 each.

Got to admit though, the shop is now a poor relation of what it once was. Looks more like the chavvy sports shops in town, full of cheap cr@p not even related to BRFC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Rovers store has turned from a Marks and Spencer into a Matalan.

The whole family used to buy Rovers merchandise for Christmas - great-grandparents, grandparents, mum, dad, kids, aunties, uncles, the lot. Not any more.

The choice of goods is limited and the little that is available is of poor quality.

B***** about service and b***** to the fans. The shop is outsourced for one reason only - to save money in the short term. John Williams' and Tom Finn's salaries and expense accounts have to be paid for somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like Rovers need to get its house in order here.

It's all very well to "outsource" the chips, beer and hot dogs to another company. Let's face it everyone expects overpriced rubbish food and overpriced fizzy lager at a football ground.

However I think there is a difference between them and the sale of Rovers' merchandise. Surely the club needs good standards associated with products related with its name?

Maybe the club should put up a sign outside the shop reading "this shop is nothing to do with us, it just happens to be located here." or it should take back ownership and supply high quality goods with staff who actually do give a damn.

Sounds like something that BRISA could have a go at.......?

(I know, all suggestions and no participation)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The simple fact is that the club cannot hold itself at a distance from the branded shop located on its concourse. Anybody visiting Ewood Park and going into the shop will take away a tarnished view of the club, because of the sub-standard merchandise, the sub-standard service and the sub-standard attitude of the club towards it's own brand.

When you think about it, what is Blackburn Rovers? That's right, it is a BRAND! Now, if you were to ask the folks at Manure, or the Arse about their attitude towards their brand, I bet you would find that they guard it jealously and look for every opportunity to promote it.

Accepting sub-standard performance in any aspect of the running of a modern football business, from the pitch to the pies, is symptomatic of a laissez faire attitude which will, if not sorted out, lead to erosion of the brand equity and ultimately the death of the brand. Cutting costs and allowing a tat-merchant to ply their trade with tawdry rags and baubles doesn't do anything for Rovers except make the club look like it doesn't care about its punters.

Come on Rovers - don't pile it high and sell it cheap - we don't mind paying for quality, because quality always pays you back in the long run. SORT IT OUT.

Off my soap box now... rover.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A old uni friend of mine used to do some part-time work called something like 'Mystery Shopping'.

It wasn't as exotic as it sounds, but it was basically a way for companies to test how good their customer service was. The company would arrange (via a type of agency) for the 'shoppers' (usually lazy students wanting to earn easy money in my experience !) to ask for specific servcies / advice / requests from a certain outlet of the company. Afterwards they would then get the 'shoppers' to conduct a short phone interview-type-questionnaire thing with the agnecy. The 'shopper' would then feedback to the agency, so they could collate the details as to how good / bad customer service was. From reading some of the feedback sheets, they were very thorough and really focussed on customer service, particularly when the 'shopper' had a difficult purchase / request to meet.

The advantage for the company was that this was done in a way that made it very difficult for staff to tell if they were being tested / monitored.

I don't know how interested the club would be, but perhaps it might encourage / interest them to find out exactly how poor the club shop is appears to be in terms of service. Although I've not had a bad experience myself, I think the lack of Rovers-related products is pretty poor considering it is the club's main outlet for giving the fans the chance to buy these things. Even more so at Christmas, when people visiting Ewood have the chance to buy stocking fillers, cheap kits, Rovers-related clothing, etc.

Even though the club have 'out-sourced' the responsibility of the club shop / merchandising, I'd be very surprised if it was happy for SportsWorld to make a dog's dinner of it. Even though the club might not accept responsibility for the running of the service, it ultimately reflects badly on the club and tarnishes it's reputation. It's not as if there are loads of outlets for Rovers fans to stock on club gifts, souvenirs, etc. If BRISA think it's of any interest I'm sure I could help look into it in a bit more detail...

(My other idea is release more things with "Lucas Neill - Football Genius" stamped on them, but it needs more work at the moment I think....)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're discussing what we can do. Any suggestions will be gratefully received
.

Scotty,

As I said, I'm sat on my arse expecting you lot to sort it out.

Sorry.

Can Rovers cancel the contract with whoever it is who runs the shop? As CLB has mentioned there was a time not too long ago where there was a Rovers' shop selling Rovers things for Rovers fans.

No doubt the contract cannot be cancelled without financial penalties, but perhaps when it expires JW needs to have a look at this thread and have a think about merchandising.

It's not just screwing the maximum amount of money from the fans. (The Theatre Of Merchandising can do that) BRFC is better than them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can Rovers cancel the contract with whoever it is who runs the shop? As CLB has mentioned there was a time not too long ago where there was a Rovers' shop selling Rovers things for Rovers fans.

No doubt the contract cannot be cancelled without financial penalties, but perhaps when it expires JW needs to have a look at this thread and have a think about merchandising.

366595[/snapback]

From memory the club were very excited about the deal when it happened as it was worth a lot of money to them. I seem to remember the contract is for a long period too and I'm guessing it is tied into the kit manufacturing and shirt sponsor deals too, so I don't think the club could possibly get out of it.

I am sure if the club receive enough complaints from fans they will start to look at the situation (if they haven't already realised). I think initially BRISA could raise the issue when they next meet with John Williams. At least we could then find out what the club's opinion of the situation is and if they have tried to do anything to rectify it.

Isn't there a few of the old club shop staff still working there (I do recognise one or two of them)? Would they still have contacts within the club? Although I doubt they would want to upset their new employers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't there a few of the old club shop staff still working there (I do recognise one or two of them)?  Would they still have contacts within the club?  Although I doubt they would want to upset their new employers.

366618[/snapback]

Yes, and they are still as unhelpful as they always were.

Without knowing the ins and outs of the arrangement between Rovers and SWI Id say it was likely that the staff are now SWI employees and the subject of TUPE Regs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether that's true or not, the shop is OK if you want to buy some cheap SWI crap but relatively useless if you now want any Rovers merchandise. Gone are the days when you can buy mini kits for cars, dressing gowns, pyjamas, bed linen, Rovers soft toys, towels, watches, art prints - that's just a few examples off the top of my head - the list is endless.

366539[/snapback]

While I can't argue with others experience I think it is worth recalling the "car boot" style sale Rovers had in the concourses before SWI took over. On those two days very large quantities of exactly this type of merchandise was sold off for buttons from cardboard boxes. There was product that must have gone back literally ten years.

This highlights a problem for the club; fans want this merchandise yet I suspect the volumes that have to be purchased to achieve a "perceived value for money" are higher than the club can actually sell.

I have polos and sweats from 1994, and before, which are still in pretty good condition considering they've been worn to every game since. Personally I'd rather pay more for one or two high quality items that will last and I can enjoy wearing. I have a concern this coud lead to another round of criticism on high prices. I'd happily pay £10 for a decent polo or £20 for a sweat. I've still got for example the Natural Born Champions T-shirt which was one of the best Rovers ever did - just need an occassion to wear it now!

This September I bought around 20 shirts for site members over a two week period. I visited during the week and must say I didn't experience any problems. On the other hand I have returned two coats with faulty zips and had quite a battle to get replacements.

The shop manager confirmed to me in October the on-line store is out-sourced by SWI. This was in response to my query regarding the difference in the on-line price for names/numbers and the in-store, higher, price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sports World are the grubbiest sports retailer around. Mike Ashley who owns it has absolutely no regard for anyones brand, he just wants to make money for himself and does care one iota about the consequences.

The Club Shop went to SWI as part of the kit deal (Lonsdale is a Sportsworld brand) and so we get a sportsworld instead of a club shop. Paul hit the nail on the head though - The Club cannot afford to buy and sell the items that people on here want to buy in volumes that they want to buy them in.

Mike Ashley is however prepard to pay a premium to be the shirt supplier, and most other brands are not. The Club took the money rather than going with a better brand which would have offered less money for the deal. Ashley is about buying turnover, not provision of good service.

The like of Adidas, Umbro and Nike will only do a deal if it makes commercial sense. Clubs like Rovers are great for authenticating your brand in terms of us being a "proper" football club, but they don't actuallly make you any money. Ashley is trying to buy credibility in the sports industry by sponsoring Rovers, Sunderland and the BIG club. He is doing it for his benefit not ours.

If the fans make enough noise then the board will go with a more credible brand, especially if replica shirt sales fall away due to the poor quality of product.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Club Shop went to SWI as part of the kit deal (Lonsdale is a Sportsworld brand) and so we get a sportsworld instead of a club shop. Paul hit the nail on the head though - The Club cannot afford to buy and sell the items that people on here want to buy in volumes that they want to buy them in.

366655[/snapback]

Fraid thats not quite true.

I spoke to a representative of a league one club recently regarding marketing (what i study at uni) and one of my questions was if they actually made any money from some of the novelty items they sold in the club shop, or if it was more about raising brand awareness - i was told it was a nice little earner, and this is for a club whos average gate is about a quarter of ours....

I don't think its the club that are unwilling to seek this small profit margin - i think its SWI (who i would class as the second grubbiest after intersport!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the thread is pretty specific to the club shop in Blackburn, but I must say that the club shop on-line is pretty p1ss-poor for a Premiership side as well. I have only purchased a few items on-line, not because of a stingy attitude but because of two things which are inter-related in my opinion.

1) Lack of selection - The shop has the standard fare opf replica kits, key chains, etc. But where are the ties, the rugby shirts (The one MHughes wears all the time is quite nice), kid blankets, bed sheets for the kiddo's, etc.? As you grow older you really only buy a few things for yourself, but there should be some consideration for the kids. You get the brand instilled in them young and they'll carry it out through thick and thin all their lives usually. Sure kids aren't the ones spending their 5 quid allowances on merchandise, but when they do start having disposable income, they'd either pay for merchandise or go to the game or both. I'm off on a tangent here, sorry...on to point #2...

2) I usually don't buy a kit every year because I know that every year the kit will be out-dated. We've gone from TIME, to AMD to Lonsdale in three years and next year we'll have someone else's name emblazoned on our front. In this, maybe I am a bit picky, however for the stores how can they justify purchasing a whole slew of merchandise when they know that if they don't sell it THIS year it will become outdated and have to be sold for peanuts. At least if the sponsor was signed on for four or five years the store could buy alot of merchandise and if there is some left over, they could sell it again the next year without anyone knowing the wiser (as long as it's not season specific, or a departed player of course). As for the quality of the merchandise I have purchased over the internet, I must say that I cannot complain, but then again I don't wear the stuff as much as I could (It's just too d@mned hot down here in Texas for 3/4 of the offered merchandise).

So what I suggest is, look for a solid steady sponsor for 4-5 years, invest a bit in contracting new lines of merchandise and watch the returns come flowing in.

As for customer service..I work in the Hotel Industry so don't get me started on the lack of customer service...that gets my arse chapped every time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.