A big unexplored market – Classic Shirts
14 de março de 2014
Categoria: Entrevistas

1. Day by day, the search for retro and rares shirts in the football world is growing. How born the idea of creating a virtual service destined just for this segment? Who were the official founders of the project?

The business started out as we saw a gap in the market between buying the brand new shirt at the beginning of the season, and business’s which offer old fashioned reproduction football shirts. But it was also a passion from the beginning. We personally were always interested in buying older shirts from memorable games, and the passion has grown from a few shirts to thousands in the 10 years we have been running. The two founders of the company are Doug Bierton and Matt Dale.

2. Besides selling jerseys, you also buy for resale. How does this procedure work? The shirt receives any repair? How do you know that the origin of the product is really original?
We buy our shirts from many different sources, including customers contacting us via the website to sell their old collection. We launder all the shirts when they arrive, and check for typical features to ensure the products are original and authentic. After 10 years in business we have figured out all the features of the original official shirts, and all the features of many of the fake shirts also! It becomes easier with every passing season to identify the shirts as there are plenty of features to go off, but sometimes for obscure shirts from smaller football clubs we spend time researching to ensure we continue to fulfill our promise to the customer.

3. Which was the rarest shirt you ever acquired? How did you get this stuff?
The rarest was a West Bromwich Albion shirt worn in the 1936 FA Cup Final. It was sold by a relative who I think had stumbled across it sorting out some old clothes. It is near impossible to find a shirt from this era as no replicas were ever made to be sold to the public at this time, but to find a shirt worn in the FA Cup Final was something extra special.

4. In Brazil, it’s very usual seing products of popular clubs being sold by the stores. Although, in your site, we found some shirts which are very rare even to us. Clubs like Taubaté, São Cristóvão, Gonçalense, Palmas and Fast are found in your stock. Why are many products we brazilians barely know, sold out of the country?

We work very hard to deal with many manufacturers of shirts from across the world, and we are always looking for the obscure and rare shirts that many people are looking to add to their collection and cannot find in their local sports store. I think that many sports stores in the modern era are obsessed with the biggest football clubs, but we find that our customers appreciate our efforts to source these items from smaller football clubs, so I see your question here as a great compliment!

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5. Do you have any kind of pre established criteria when seeking for shirts to the stock? Is there any standard to search for country like Brasil and Argentina, or you just analyses the best price allied to the quality and make the purchase?

I guess it is a little of both. With experience we have learnt what fans, new and old are looking for, and we aim to have at least 1 shirt from very season for most teams. Of course price is also a big factor, so we are consistently trying to find the best deals and pass these on to our loyal customers.

6. Who visits your site to figure out the job made by you, will probably realise there is support for 5 different languages. Your demand really reach the whole world? Which country buys more from Classic Football?

Football is a passion shared by the entire World, and we want to make our site accessible to any fan from any country. I think it is a great achievement that there are football fans in the UK wearing the São Cristóvão shirts that you guys could not even find in Brazil! Football is also a constantly growing sport, it has a great power to reach new audiences, and we see this with the changing nature of our customers. I would say the US is the biggest growing market for us.

A good choice for us brazilians

7. In our country, there is no trustable and known physic store with such a niche of retro original shirts like you do online. In the UK, is there any kind of physic store? Do you own one? If you don’t, have you ever imagined opening a store showing the products? That really could work, in my opinion.
No there are no physical stores in the UK, although a few stores do sell the vintage reproduction shirts. I think one day in the future we would like to have a physical store, although, we are always aware that many people may think it is more of a museum than a retail store!

8. Pound is one of the most valued coins regarding others. Is this something that affect the sale of the products? How can you dribble the oscillation of certain coins like the Brazilian one (Real) and keep with an accessible price?

Yes, this does affect the sales of our product like any other business exporting outside the UK. Our biggest challenge and the one which drives us forward is maintaining a range of products so there really is something for everybody. Of course some of the rare shirts are expensive, but we also have thousands of items which are fantastic value for money. We hope that this balances out any negative effects of currency changes.

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9. Well, it is impossible not ask: how is the England’s mood seeing Leicester City with clear chances of winning the premier league? Are the Britains facing it as a surprise yet?

I think it is an amazing achievement even if they qualify for the Champions League and it a huge huge surprise! In England for many years fans are obsessed with rich new owners and the chance of mega signings, just look at Manchester City (and Robinho in 2008!). They know that eventually this crazy money will provide success. If Leicester win the Premier League, this could change the philosophy in England that money is the key to winning.

10. It is a huge pleasure for us to conclude this interview. We wish you the best. If you want to say something to us in Brazil, that’s the moment (you also can send gifts. We will accept with all our hearts hahaha). Tight hug!!

Obrigado to all our Brazilian fans, old and new!

Postado por Renan Castro 23 anos, administrador, torcedor do Flamengo, natural de Nova Iguaçu - RJ, fã de aviação e dono de três quadros: Vestindo o Futebol, Ícones Alternativos e Memória FC.