We are aware of some issues caused by the fit and supply of this season’s replica shirt.We are sorry for any disappointment caused and are happy to address these issues fully.
Like many of you, we have noticed a certain ‘snugness’ of fit of this season’s replica shirt, resulting in fans having to upsize from their normal size.
For instance, supporters who normally slip comfortably into a Large, are finding that an XLarge, or even an XXLarge, is more appropriate with the current shirt design.
There are two reasons for this, according to our kit suppliers, Puma.
The first is that, because of administration, our shirts last year were “off the shelf stock options”. Anyone could buy the same shirt that our first-team wore from any high street shop.
These shirts, which are mass produced for a mass market, are slightly larger than the bespoke shirts that Puma manufactures for clubs.
So, if you could squeeze into a Large 2011-12 shirt, you probably will not be able to do so this season.
Secondly, the bespoke shirt that Puma provide to clubs is a “tailored/athletic fit”, which has always been a hallmark of their product-range.
The current trend is to minimise the cut under the arms. Apart from anything else, this helps prevent players getting their shirts pulled as much during games because the shirts are flush to the body.
Therefore, although the chest measurement is barely different from previous years, the shirt will feel different because of the tight-fit style.
In an ordinary year, we will begin the process of choosing and ordering our new kits for the following season well before Christmas.
This is because, given the quantities we require to sell to you in the Argyle Superstore or online, several months of “lead time” are required to design, approve and manufacture the kit.
We normally like to have it available for the first team to wear in the final match of the season, and for fans to buy at the start of the summer. At the latest.
Last year, this process was delayed by the knock-on effects of our coming out of administration, which resulted in the kits not being available until the very start of this season, around three months later than we would have liked.
THE PERFECT STORM
The cut of the kit and the enforced lateness of our order created something of a perfect storm
We placed our 2012-13 order on the very sensible basis of sales in previous years, as well adding a XXXL size into the mix for the first time.
However, since a lot of supporters have needed to upsize, we have experienced a rush on the bigger sizes.
The order was scheduled to “drop” in two parts: August and September. There is little point in taking orders post September because:
i) as we have learnt from experience, there is not enough time left in the season to shift the stock; and
ii) from autumn on, everyone’s focus and resources are concentrated on the kit for the following season.
Therefore, both drops were ordered before we and you discovered the fitting anomaly.
Had we discovered it in May, there may well have been an option to vary the second-drop and order greater numbers of the bigger sizes.
The September drop has arrived.
We will happily exchange any shirts that we can for those of a larger size.
If we cannot exchange a shirt, we will refund your money.
We apologise for any problems you may have encountered because of the size and/or the availability of the shirts.
We assure you that we have learnt from the experience.
We promise that we will do whatever is in our powers to ensure such a situation does not arise again.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.