A game-changing e-commerce platform that helps amateur and community sports clubs generate new income by selling their own branded merchandise has invested in new production machinery and is moving larger premises to keep up with demand for orders – just three months after its launch.
Glasgow-based Kitvendr has British Ice Hockey – part of a national sports media group – among its clients, adding to a string of Scottish rugby and rugby sevens clubs, and community sports groups.
These client gains have seen Kitvendr outgrow its Govan base and the firm is relocating to a larger industrial unit in the same area of the city. The extra space enables new specialist machinery to be used in the production process.
Kitvendr co-founder Rangi Jericevich said: “Kitvendr launched in June and since that time we’ve quickly outgrown our current premises. Early on we realised that we needed to scale up our production capacity and have invested in new machinery and equipment.
“Our move to new premises a significant step for us as we build our vision, and reach out to a wider audience of community, amateur and professional sports club committees, both in Scotland and across the UK.”
As a player and committee member of the city’s GHA Rugby Club Rangi saw first-hand the logistical and financial challenges experienced by clubs that wanted to offer branded apparel.
Clubs signing up to the free-to-use platform receive their own bespoke online shop and product range, from which customers can then directly order hats, scarves, t-shirts and other items of branded clothing. The club earns a generous commission from every sale, which is all profit for them.
Rangi explains: “Lots of community sports clubs sell branded club wear to players and supporters, but for many, it is typically viewed as a means of kitting out their members and not as an income generator.
“It’s often down to one volunteer to source the supplier, place a bulk order and then spend weeks trying to get payments back in to recoup costs. Or some clubs will collect payments in advance of placing an order and the customer then has to wait weeks for the product.
“Kitvendr’s e-commerce platform and production facility enables clubs to retail their products and offer the same level of product quality and service that professional clubs enjoy.
“It removes the need for bulk ordering and bulk production and there is no administration or stock control for the club.
“All a club needs to do is to promote their online shop within the club and the wider community, and we take care of the rest.
“Community and amateur sports clubs operate in a challenging financial climate: competition for funding is high and many traditional income streams have become less lucrative.
“Kitvendr aims to be a retail partner to these clubs, helping them to become more financially resilient by generating an income stream from the very first sale which they can then invest back into the club.
“We are passionate about grassroots sport and building a company with a real social purpose in supporting them.”