Last month, the Trust and other supporter groups met with the Club’s retail operations, Kappa and Fanatics.
After the much-publicised issues with the Season 2019/20 kit, it was an opportunity for them to address our concerns, share their plans and get our feedback to help improve the relationship with fans.
As you know the Kappa kit and training gear brought mixed reactions amongst fans. The home kit was well received, the away strip was in an 80s retro style and the recent retro training kit as worn by the team at Wembley were popular. Though not so with the third kit. The issues of quality control and stock availability across the range were high on the agenda. In addition, the reported levels of poor customer service and shirt sizing.
Kappa was very apologetic about the issues fans experienced with the kit quality control and rightly so. They have given us and the Club assurances that this will not happen again. Truth be told, they couldn’t cope with the phenomenal demand – 100k+ shirt sales. The plans were based on another season in the Championship and promotion shattered those. We’ll go into the reasons why further below.
If you’re expecting an insight into next season’s kit, you’ll be disappointed, nothing was revealed. However, what Kappa was able to share was the kit launch timeline. The product lifecycle usually starts in April with design proposals. The end to end process usually takes up to 15 months. So as Season 2019/20 is yet to finish, who knows when given the current predicament we find ourselves in, work on the kit for 2021/22 is just starting. Possibly, a certain level of mitigation to Kappa’s reasons for not delivering on our expectations.
This presentation gives you an overview of the end to end process. Plus, some background into Kappa.