KF – Karl Fitzpatrick, chief executive; SP – Steve Price, head coach; NB – Nicola Bell, retail manager
NB gave a retail department presentation to all attendees, providing a brief history of previous kit designs and giving an insight into the process of selecting suppliers, agreeing designs and working with sponsors. Questions/comments from those present are numbered below.
1. KF asked the group what they thought of the replica kits, both home and away
The general response was that they were liked, especially the primrose against the black on the away shirt, but the promotional shots of the home shirts had not done them justice. NB advised that the aim was always to have shirts on sale by November at the very latest, as a one week delay could have financial ramifications. Based on a show of hands, it was noted that approximately 50% of those present had purchased a replica shirt.
2. Would you consider a retro style clothing range, perhaps using past players?
We did have a Legends range previously but sales dwindled. Please let us have your suggestions for players you would like to see represented and we will look further into this.
3. Where had the sales growth come from, online or in store?
Mainly from store sales but we are looking at making significant improvements to our E-commerce site, making it more user friendly and updating the technology.
4. Can you re-introduce the “2 shirts for £80” offer?
This offer was replaced by the introduction of the Loyalty Scheme. This is also being reviewed to ensure our members receive great benefits.
5. Are you offering a Magic shirt this year?
KF asked what everyone thought about the 2017 shirt and it was noted that this was well received but one fan asked if the Thor character was picked purely for Ashton Sims. KF explained that ISC pick the characters as they hold the licence with Marvel, and confirmed that Wolverine was our preferred character but ISC stated they do not have the licence for this character. It was noted that some fans would like to see a charity shirt, or one that represented our community clubs.
6. Have you considered opening a club shop in the town centre, in addition to the Christmas pop-up in the Golden Square?
This has been discussed and even implemented previously, however, consideration needs to be given to the cost of overheads in comparison to potential net profit.
7. Could there be the facility to donate second hand clothing back to the club, for shipping out to third world countries?
We do already participate in a scheme whereby we send clothing out to third world countries. This is generally the previous season’s playing kits.
8. KF asked if there were any new ranges that fans would like to see in the shop?
More black hoodies as these were great but supplies were limited, as well as replica shirts in the original/cotton version, rather than polyester. NB advised that we do need to take minimum order quantities into account but we could certainly consider this for the 2019 season.
9. Have you considered offering Warrington Wolves footwear or trainers?
If we team up with a kit supplier that provides footwear, this could be explored.
10. Have you chosen your preferred kit supplier, and would you consider collaboration with a local Super League club?
Our 2019 kit supplier has not yet been agreed, and we are not sure that partnering with another SL club would work.
11. Would it be possible to provide a healthy food offering for fans on match day?
This comment was well received and the club agreed to investigate further, and consult with Centerplate.
12. It was noted that while there may be issues with the point of sale system, the girls in the shop always provided a fantastic service.
We really appreciate this feedback, and will continue striving to improve our standards and provide the best customer experience. One incident was highlighted, where a supporter had had a bad experience during a telephone call to the shop, and this will be investigated.
13. Could shop staff be more pro-active in offering the member discount on coach travel, rather than members having to ask for it?
We take your point and agree that our staff should be prompting you, this will be addressed.
14. Well done on issuing the 4 banning orders, how will you enforce this?
Images of the perpetrators have been circulated among relevant staff, and on game day will be visible to turnstile operators and security, who are on high alert. In addition, images have been issued to the RFL and have been distributed to other SL clubs.
15. Is there a quick and easy means to report any trouble during the game?
There is a dedicated number for fans to send a text which goes direct to the Control Room. This number is 07583 017259 and it will be sent out to all members on our mailing list. Alternatively, issues can be reported in person to any of our match day stewards.
16. What are your thoughts on Eddie Hearn?
Matchroom have a proven track record, and have demonstrated the ability to market the sports they have been involved in. They also have a good understanding of the digital landscape and how this is now paramount to promote sporting events.
17. Are you still going in to local schools? You need to tap into the new community that will develop around the Omega site.
Yes, we do engage with all local schools, the Foundation do a fantastic job in this respect.
18. Could you give something back to members, eg, for every 10 games scanned, issue a free match ticket to bring a friend?
We are always looking for new ways to reward our loyal fans and to ensure they receive great benefits with our membership packages, and this suggestion can be considered.
19. Are you still confident that you will finish as a top 4 club?
Yes. Defensively we have been great but we do need to get better with the ball. We have a new coaching structure and a number of new players therefore things may take time but our aim is to become a consistent top four side.
Steve Price, head coach, joined the forum at 19:30 to answer questions and hold discussions in relation to the team’s performance to date, the standard of the competition and how he has settled in at the club.
Karl and Steve thanked everyone for attending, and the forum was closed at 20:05