Rangers Retail, a subsidiary company of The Rangers Football Club Ltd, has been formed with SportsDirect.com which enables the Club to utilise the huge buying power and resources of SportsDirect.com while maintaining the majority stake-holding in the JV.
Sports Direct employs around 19,000 people in over 470 stores in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
As part of the JV, Rangers will have greater control over the range, price and design of products while benefitting from wider distribution through SportsDirect.com stores, although the Club will control its own Megastore at Ibrox and the online provision for supporters.
This JV pulls on the strengths of all parties – Rangers’ knowledge of the brand, fan base and ability to research and survey supporter opinion and input, marketing and communication and SportsDirect.com’s retail prowess, buying power, merchandising and distribution reach.
Rangers will also be looking at new retail opportunities including an airport site which fans have been requesting for years.
Fans have been keen for Rangers to bring its retail operation back in-house for a number of years in order to improve product range and have more control over merchandise and one benefit of the events of recent months has been the Club’s ability to renegotiate its commercial contracts. Rangers now has the opportunity to create a new JV retail model and as a result, the more that our fans invest in retail products, the more revenue can be generated and re-invested back into the Club.
The Megastore has already come back under the control of the Club and the transition will happen in stages with a Rangers Megastore website being introduced followed by wider distribution throughout the UK and overseas. Supporters should note that stock will be limited during the initial transition period from JJB to Rangers Retail however a full range of Club products will be available in the coming months with all funds going to Rangers Retail..
Rangers Chief Executive Charles Green commented: “We are delighted to have SportsDirect.com on board as they are one of the world’s top retail brands. This deal will be beneficial to both parties but more importantly the supporters who will be able to buy direct from Rangers once again and support their club.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Rangers to really drive revenues through the sale of merchandise with SportsDirect.com and profits will be reinvested back into the team and the Club.
“Rangers fans are passionate about all aspects of their Club and I know this new deal will improve our retail operation immeasurably and allow fans greater access to Rangers products worldwide.”
A spokesperson for SportsDirect.com commented: “This is a very exciting deal for SportsDirect.com and we are pleased to be forming a retail partnership with one of the UK’s most recognised football clubs. Building on our well established retail and brand experience, we look forward to working with Rangers to offer a wider selection of official apparel and merchandise to their increasingly global fan base.”
All JJB staff contracted as part of the Rangers retail operation will TUPE across to Rangers Retail allowing the Club to maintain continuity with knowledgeable staff.