The brag trade

It is generally accepted that the retail deal between the club currently playing at Ibrox and Sports Direct is not that advantageous to the football club.

So much so that the Sevco clientele wish to boycott this high-quality merchandise in protest at this commercial inequity.

Moreover, this course of action seems to have been acknowledged in the recent public pronouncements of their new chairman Mr David Cunningham King.

If they do not want to buy the kit, for whatever reason, then that is their right.

That seems fair enough to me, and I believe in the power of the consumer to effect change.

However, a knowledgeable chap pointed out to me that, in this case, a boycott isn’t such a good idea apropos the coffers of Sevco.

He’s a major buyer for a UK chain store, and he took me through it bit by bit.

Subsequently, I found his patient explaining to be rather useful and perhaps you will too.

I thought it might also be of assistance to the People so they will have to Bear with me:

Ok first off he told me that unsold stock is the nightmare scenario for any retailer.

They devise increasingly clever ways of working out what they need in their retail outlets and when they will need it.

If they do get it wrong, then the unsold stock means a monetary loss to their business.

However, Big Mike has that one nailed when it comes to Sevco apparel.

The current retail deal between Big Mike and the new entity at Ibrox means that any unsold stock is not his problem.

Indeed, it makes him even more money.

This, he said, was retail heaven.

He reminded me that RIFC had to buy back the unsold stock from him at full Recommended Retail Price.

However, Sevco has no way of selling those items of top quality sportswear once they have purchased them from Ashley.

Then Big Mike helpfully sells it for them, at a discount, in his Sports Direct emporiums.

However, he charges a commission for providing this valuable service.

He said that initially he did not understand why new Rangers kits were being sold at a discounted rate so quickly into the football season as it did not make any sense to him as a retailer.

When he learned about the specific nature of the deal, it all made sense to him.

Here is how he explained it to me:

The figures he used are just for the purposes of illustration:

“Let’s say there are one thousand shirts left with a retail price tag of £50…

That’s stock to the value of £50,000 that they have to buy back from Ashley.

So he gets that fifty grand.

Did you get that?

[At this stage you should imagine me nodding slowly in hesitant understanding like poor Dougal in Father Ted]

He then sells them through his stores at, say, £10 and they’re snapped up at that price.

However, he charges the club a commission, say 25%, for using his stores to sell the club’s merchandise.

So that’s another £2.50 for Ashley.

The club, of course, just get £7.50 for a shirt they had to buy in from Ashley for £50.00

That means that he gets £52.50 for each unsold shirt that goes through this process instead of what he would make if it were sold in the normal retail way.

This way the unsold and then discounted route makes him more money.”

At this stage, I finally realised that the much-publicised boycott of Sevco merchandise by The People was actually making more money for Big Mike.

In fairness to him it did take him several attempts to explain this to me and that’s entirely down to me not getting it.

I then told him that if my kin in Mayo had devised such an ingenious tactic of passive resistance in the home place then Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott’s klan would still own the land on Oileán Acla!

We both laughed.

Remember dear reader if the Company/Club/Celestial body wants out of this contract with Big Mike then it will trigger a notice period of SEVEN years.

That is a long time for any football club to be effectively without commercial revenue.

As previously reported here the New Regime recently received top-notch legal advice that the contract is impregnable and to forget about it being overturned.

So, for the avoidance of doubt, the staunch, steadfast refusal by The People to buy Sevco merchandise from the Ibrox Superstore is lining Big Mike’s pockets.

Unlike the merchandise in question, he has them perfectly stitched up.

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