Supporters will be able to enjoy an improved shopping experience from the Saints Stores now that they have reopened, thanks to a new partnership with Elite Group.
The online Saints Store is now available again for fans to buy merchandise, with the Stadium Store having reopened on Saturday.
As part of the club’s ongoing improvements to its retail offering, the club has partnered with Elite Group to further our commitment to providing the best shopping experience possible for our fans and customers around the world.
The partnership follows on from the significant investment already made in the recent overhaul of our online retail store and developing an integrated shopping experience into the official Southampton FC app.
Elite Group have 25 years of experience as experts in all categories of football merchandise, including an exclusive brand partnership with hummel in the UK and relationships with 65 football clubs across Europe.
Through their partnership with hummel, Elite Group manage all aspects of design, supply chain and logistics for professional clubs across the country, allowing for an operating model that is agile and responsive to the needs of the club.
Elite Group also use sustainable materials across their product range, utilising cutting edge technology to produce kits that are made with recycled polyester using fabric spun from old water bottles.
They will now manage the club’s full retail operation from production through to distributing products, giving the best possible service to our fans whilst improving the customer journey in-store and online.
This process will also allow Elite Group to manage and innovate the product and design range, giving the club a greater influence on the range of merchandise it provides for supporters.
anthony cole-johnsonour supporters get a great range of new products while also benefitting from the best possible shopping experience.
director of sales, Southampton fc
Supporters will have already seen the first example of this expansion through the recently launched hummel retro range, which has proved incredibly popular. Supporters can look forward to more exciting new ranges of merchandise over the coming months, as well as new stores opening within the stadium concourse on matchdays from the 2021/22 season.
Elite Group’s Managing Director, Mark Underwood, said of the partnership: “The Elite Group is honoured to partner with Southampton FC to manage all the technical and performance clothing for the football club, and also manage all of the retail operation.
“Our vision is to create outstanding product at good prices that the Southampton supporters will be proud to wear. We will also create a retail experience which is enjoyable and reliable for years to come.”
Southampton’s Director of Sales, Anthony Cole-Johnson, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Elite Group as we look to move forward our retail offer and importantly service to fans”
“Elite Group are experts in providing a full retail solution which will ensure that our supporters get a great range of new products, hand in hand with our new technical partner hummel, while also benefitting from the best possible shopping experience.”
Whilst fans should expect minimal changes to the shopping experience online and in store, the club would like to point out that all transactions will now be with Elite Group rather than the club itself.
- Will fans be transacting with Elite Group as opposed to Southampton Football Club now? For example, what will appear on bank statements?
The process of buying products from the club will not change either in-store or online, but fans will now be transacting through Elite Group, which means that a purchase on their bank statement will appear as ‘VMS*Saints Elite Grp’.
- What happens if I need to get a refund, is this still through Southampton Football Club?
Fans will still be able to return products for refunds using the same methods they currently do. In-store purchases can be brought back to the Stadium Store and refunded in person.
Online purchases can be returned to the warehouse for a refund as normal, with fans having the option of choosing a refund or exchange for a different product. Please note the new return address is Prolog Fulfilment – Phase 1, Returns Department, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottinghamshire, NG15 0DJ.