THE contracts have been signed and the merchandise is ready – Pompey’s new-look megastore is on its way.
The shop, on the corner of Goldsmith Avenue and Fratton Way, has been closed since February, after Kappa Retail’s parent company, Frogmore Retail, went into administration.
Since then, there have been delays in getting the lease sewn up so the shop can once again start trading.
Now Pompey bosses hope the shop – which will be under the control of retail giant Sports Direct – will be open by October 5, Pompey’s home game against Rochdale, though that date is not set in stone.
Club engagement manager Mike Hall said the deal is worth a guaranteed £300,000 to the club a year, in terms of cash, sponsorship and other services, plus a percentage of sales.
He said: ‘When we won the FA Cup in 2008 the club only made £60,000 profit, so this deal is six times as much, which is incredible.’
Sales of shirts and other merchandise have soared this year, even compared to when Pompey were in the Premiership.
Kit, scarves and other memorabilia are sold in Sports Direct shops around the area, plus a pop-up shop in the Fratton Park car park on match days. Sports Direct owns Sondico, which manufactures the Pompey kit.
Most clubs order their new kit in September, but as the Pompey Supporters’ Trust only took majority ownership of the club in April, the kit was ordered in May.
Nevertheless, the kit was delivered on time and, Mike says, has been flying out the door.
‘We’ve outstripped the previous years in terms of sales, revenue, and quality,’ he said.
‘The pop-up shop has taken double what the Kappa shop did on its best day, according to the limited figures we have. That’s why Sports Direct want to get behind our shop – they see this as a massive deal for a massive club.
‘We have an agreement with them to guarantee us a revenue of a couple of hundred thousand pounds, and that’s without the Sondico sponsorship deal and so on.
‘They’ve been incredibly generous, incredibly supportive.’